Environmentalists say they've found second sinkhole linked to REM construction
MONTREAL -- You wouldn’t know it from the name, but one of the last green spaces on the Island of Montreal is a little pocket of land in St. Laurent, between highways 40 and 20.
The Technoparc is home to wildlife that has no sanctuary anywhere else, say many bird watchers and environmentalists.
They’re upset, then, that for the second time in about a month, they’ve discovered a sinkhole in the Technoparc grounds. Last time, wetlands were drained after a sinkhole was discovered.
That’s really bad news for the birds that call the land home, said Katherine Collin of Technoparc Oiseaux.
“Within these 215 hectares we have 208 different species of birds,” she explained.
Draining and disturbing the land is a major setback, she said.
“It’s a very rich environment that draws it strength from the diversity of its ecosystems. And to cut into any one part of it is to damage the whole of this sector,” she said.
The cuprit for the disturbances? The birders say they theorize it’s the construction for Montreal’s new light-rail system. Underground digging for the REM has taken place in the area.
But last month, REM officials said it wasn’t clear if their tunnel-boring machine did cause the problem. They said they were looking into it.
They haven’t yet responded to requests for comment about the second apparent hole.
Collin said her group simply hopes that any issues that have arisen can, in the end, be fixed, for the sake of the thousands of creatures that call it home.