THE BAPE RELEASES ITS REPORT
Québec, September 1st 2006 – At the request of the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Mr. Claude Béchard, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) released today its report on the inquiry and public hearing for the Project to modernize the wharfs of the Oka ferry by Traverse Oka inc. The investigation and public hearing process began on March 13. The commission responsible for examining the project was headed by Mr. Qussaï Samak, assisted by Ms. Lucie Bigué in her capacity as commissioner.
After analyzing the project, the commission concludes that key safety considerations militate clearly in its favour. Therefore, the commission concludes that the project is justified. On the other hand, the commission cannot support the proponent’s proposal to extend the hours of the service during the operating season. Given the residential nature of the zone in which the Hudson landing is located, the commission is of the view that the current hours of service should remain unchanged.
However, the commission is aware of the concerns of the citizens and officials of the town of Hudson concerning the visual quality of their environment. For this reason, the commission considers it essential that the hedge proposed by the proponent to mask the view of the ferries during winter storage be of suitable quality and size to achieve its purpose beginning in the first year, if the project is implemented.
The commission notes that most of the drawbacks identified by the residents of Hudson are inherent to the service as it currently exists, and it has developed over time. The commission is of the view that these drawbacks depend on demographic factors, as well as on regional geographical particularities and the characteristics of the road network. As a result, the commission believes that, if the current hours of operation are maintained, the project is unlikely to have much impact, either positive or negative, on the noted drawbacks of the ferry service.
The commission finds it, however, unacceptable that the operation of the service causes line-ups of vehicles in the streets of the town of Hudson . Therefore, the commission is of the view that the project should only be authorized on condition that the normal operation of the service does not lead to line-ups on public streets in Hudson or Oka .
Availability of the report
The report on the inquiry and public hearing for the Project to modernize the wharfs of the Oka ferry is now available in BAPE documentation centres and the consultation centres opened in the communities concerned, as well as on the BAPE website at the following address : www.bape.gouv.qc.ca. It can also be obtained by sending an e-mail to the following address : email@example.com, or be calling 418 643-7447 or, toll-free, 1 800 463-4732.
During the first part of the public hearing process the commission held three public sessions in Hudson. During the second part of this public hearing, the commission held two sessions in Hudson and Oka and received 32 briefs and heard 9 verbal submissions from individuals, groups, organizations and municipalities affected by the project.
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Source : Catherine Roberge
Conseillère en communication
418 643-7447 ou 1 800 463-4732 poste 531