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Municipal officials frustrated over red tape as Montreal's shoreline erodes


Retiree Mark Lindsay walks along the Lachine shoreline twice a day, and during every jaunt, the river creeps closer and closer to the walking path because of erosion.

"I don't see anything being done for it," he said. These fences have been here for the six years that I've been in Lachine, so they don't seem to do very much."

Efforts to repair green spaces along Montreal's waterfront are facing red tape as the work has yet to be approved by the provincial government.

It's an unfortunate situation for those like Lindsay who appreciates the view.

"We can see the ships coming through the locks. I mean, it's fantastic," he said. "And in the summer, it's full of people. It's there's a lot of life. It's really great."

Finding a solution to the problem is proving frustrating.

"It is insane how hard it is," said Lachine borough mayor Maja Vodanovic.

Vodanovic said Lachine has tried to repair parts of its shoreline for the past five years, but the work must be approved by the Quebec Environment Ministry.

"We are not allowed to just repair it," she said. "We have to do numerous amounts of steps and jump through hoops that are just that are that are very, very time consuming."

Lachine's most recent proposal to repair a 100-metre stretch of shoreline was submitted eight months ago, and Vodanovic said the borough is still waiting for a response.

"We are eight months after we sent the letter to the government," she said. "We really need to get this done. It's in an emergency. While they're still looking at the file."

Neighbouring cities say they have similar issues approving shoreline projects.

Dorval is also waiting on the environment ministry.

"It's frustrating for us," said Doval Mayor Marc Doret. "It's frustrating for the residents who want to use that space, and we hope that we can get this work done in the next year or so."

Elected officials say they want to see the laws change to make it easier for municipalities trying to do maintenance on shorelines.

"We are not a corporation that wants to build a factory next to a lake," said Vodanovic. "We're just a municipality that wants to fix its park."

Lachine's mayor is worried the borough might not get the approval it needs and that the path along the shoreline that so many people enjoy might not be there for daily walks in the future.

The Quebec Environment Ministry did not reply to a CTV News request for an interview. Top Stories

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