The Beaconsfield Pollution Corridor Initiative (BPCI), a recently formed non political body in Beaconsfield, boasts a few dozen members who want the city’s administration to take the need for a sound wall “not as an issue but a solution,” said member Michel Rheault.
The newly formed group will be holding an open forum for all interested Beaconsfield residents affected by highway noise to attend a presentation by two experts from the ministry of health and social services for an “education session about the air and noise pollution along the Autoroute 20.”
Rheault has lived in Beaconsfield for the last 11 years and lives within “the red zone where highway noise is a factor and with more people living off island and driving into the city for work, there is more noise on the highway.”
Besides sensitizing area residents about the health hazards associated with excessive noise from highway sounds, “we want to create momentum for those affected,” Rheault told The Suburban.
What members of the BPCI find frustrating is that neighbouring cities like “Pointe Claire, Baie d’Urfe, Dorval and Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue administrations all favour sound wall to resolve sound issues while here in Beaconsfield, we are faced with elected representatives who do not favour resolving health issue,” said Rheault.
“We have to fight for our health and it is the mayor’s job to protect residents from health hazards,” he said. “The city would definitely clean up a spill if it occurred on the highway, why not sound problems?”
Rheault said that the BPCI has identified about 2,000 residents, or roughly ten percent of the population of Beaconsfield, who are affected daily by the highway noise. “For the last 35 years, mayors have favoured reelection over residents’ health as studies favouring a sound wall go back to 1986,” said Rheault.
The group would like to see the city return to the bargaining table with the MTQ as “they recognized the seriousness of the problem and confirmed responsibility by financing 75% of the mitigation project” in 2015. The normal cost division fro a sound wall between the Quebec government and a city is generally 50-50. “However, so far, Beaconsfield municipal representatives do not support the project,” noted Rheault.
The non-profit grassroots organization would like for the city to create a 4.5 metre high sound absorbing barrier that would run for roughly 5,000 metres along the south side of Beaconsfield between Baie d’Urfe and Pointe Claire.
Asked if the mayor or any of the city council members will attend the presentation, Rheault said “they have been invited but I don’t expect any of them to come.”
The Beaconsfield Pollution Corridor Initiative’s presentation happens tomorrow, Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Kirkland Provigo at 16,900 Trans-Canada Highway.
Experts from the ministry of health and social services, Sophie Goudreau and Louis-François Tétreault, PhD. will give a discourse followed by a question and answer section.
To learn more about the BPCI go online at www.beaconsfieldsoundwall.ca.