THE BAPE WILL PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AT 7:30 P.M. ON DECEMBER 5 AND 6, 2005
Québec, November 22, 2005 – The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) is holding two information sessions on the Project to modernize the wharfs of the Oka ferry by Traverse Oka inc . These sessions, which the proponent will be taking part in, will be hosted by a representative of the BAPE and will be held on December 5 and 6, 2005. The times and locations of the sessions are indicated below:
Monday, December 5, 2005
Whitlock Golf Club
128, Côte St-Charles
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Municipality of Oka
183, rue des Anges
The purpose of the information sessions is to allow citizens to obtain information on the project, the environmental impact assessment and review procedure, the public consultation process, as well as the role of the BAPE. These information sessions fall within the mandate that Mr. Thomas J. Mulcair , Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, entrusted to the BAPE. Under this mandate, the BAPE must make available to the public the impact study and the entire file related to the project. The public information and consultation period begins today, November 22, 2005 and will end on January 6, 2006 .
It is during this 45-day period that any citizen, group, municipality or organization can apply to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks for a public hearing. If necessary, a BAPE commission could be mandated to make inquiry into the project and to consult the public on this subject.
Where can the project documentation be consulted?
Citizens can obtain information on the project by consulting the impact study carried out by the proponent and the other documents describing the project and, among other things, its repercussions on the environment. Beginning today and up until January 6, 2006, these documents may be consulted at the BAPE office in Québec, the Central Library of Université du Québec à Montréal as well as on the BAPE web site at www.bape.gouv.qc.ca, under the heading « Mandats en cours ». The entire file is also available at the following locations:
Oka Municipal Library, 183, rue des Anges, Oka ;
Municipality of Hudson , 481, rue Principale, Hudson.
What rights do citizens have?
Any person, group, organization or municipality that wishes to obtain additional information or clarifications, to obtain the opinion of experts on the project or to make known its position regarding the project may make an application for a public hearing during the public information and consultation period. This application must be submitted, in writing, not later than January 6, 2006, to Mr. Thomas J. Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, 675, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, 30e étage, Québec (Québec) G1R 5V7. The applicant must state the reasons for his application and his interest in relation to the environment affected by the project.
Traverse Oka inc. is proposing the modernization of its two landing wharfs located on both sides of Lac des
Deux-Montagnes, on the territory of the municipalities of Oka and Hudson . According to the proponent, the project mainly seeks to meet the maritime safety requirements imposed by Transport Canada and to increase the reliability of the service in order to more adequately respond to the increase in traffic anticipated by the Ministère des Transports du Québec.
The project would entail the construction of fixed wharfs on each shore and slip ways on the Hudson side. The proponent is building these two landing wharfs with a view to accommodating two new self-propelled ferries, each having a capacity of 18 vehicles. These new ferries would replace the current barge system. The landing wharfs would be designed with a gangplank-hoisting system. These wharfs would be made of three concrete structures. The first would be the support point for the gangplank on land. The second would support the gangplank-hoisting system while serving as a receiving structure for the berthing of the ferry. The third would be a guard pillar located in the water and would be used to stabilize the vessel during boarding and deboarding operations. As for the level of service, the proponent plans to maintain the current capacity but could envisage, only with the agreement of the municipalities of Oka and Hudson, the putting into service of a third ferry. The planned duration of the work is eight weeks.
Repercussions anticipated by the proponent and mitigation measures proposed in the impact study
According to the impact study, the project would have certain negative repercussions. Indeed, the carrying out of the project would permanently encroach on a total surface area of 1,360 square metres in Lac des Deux-Montagnes, namely 700 metres for the slip ways as well as 346 square metres for the berthing structures in Hudson and 314 square metres for the berthing structures in Oka. To mitigate the impacts, the proponent would limit the surface area occupied by the temporary works and would make sure that the machinery does not circulate outside the work zone. In addition, the proponent would compensate for the loss of this habitat by means of a project that would be established later. According to the proponent, the interruption in the ferry service during the work period would have an impact for users, as they would be required to take the road network. Still according to the impact study, the putting into service of the new ferries would also affect the heritage character of the ferry crossing. The proponent is proposing the setting up of interpretation panels on the site of the ferry crossing and on the ferries to mitigate this impact. Finally, during the wintering period, the new equipment could have negative impacts on the visual aspect of the landscape since they are higher than the current barges.
According to the proponent, among the positive repercussions, the project would increase the safety of ferry passengers and operators.
Those persons wishing to obtain more information can get in touch with Catherine Roberge at the following number: 418 643-7447 or, toll free, at 1 800 463-4732, extension 537 or by e-mail at the following address: catherine.roberge @bape.gouv.qc.ca.
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Source: Catherine Roberge, communications advisor
Marie-Ève Fortin, analyst