Old Trees Matter

Source: Sauvons la falaise facebook page

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On March 29th, the association Sauvons la Falaise organised a peaceful gathering to protest against the decision of the owner of the Meadowbrook Golf course in Cote Saint Luc to cut down old silver maple trees. This event is part of the association’s general fight for the preservation of old trees in Montreal. CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed the founder of the association, Lisa Mintz, and an active member, Louise Chenevert, to get more information about the protest and the general state of tree preservation policies in Montreal.

“Imagine if you went outside in the spring and didn’t hear any birds singing […] you would feel inside that there is something missing” -Lisa Mintz 

lisa mintz
Lisa Mintz (source: Dario Ayala for the Montreal Gazette)

Lisa Mintz created Sauvons la Falaise to protect the falaise St-Jacques, a four-kilometer forester area between the Turcot Interchange and Montreal West. In this interview, she explains the ecological and cultural value of trees for people living in Montreal. She also denounces the state of  the city’s tree policy: few trees are being planted every year, laws are not implemented consistently and trees are being cut down without the consent of local residents.


In 2012, the city of Montreal decided to launch the Plan d’action Canopée, an ambitious project to plant 300 000 news trees over 10 years. While this might be a positive step towards the preservation of green spaces in Montreal, this plan overlooks the difference between new and old trees. As Louise Chenevert explains in this interview, older trees have a greater capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, their roots prevent erosion and they contribute to reduce urban temperatures.

“Sure they can replace trees in a few years with a little sapling that’s got have a dozen leaves on it but that cannot possibly replace a tree that’s got a huge canopy and that does an incredible amount of work for the environment” – Louise Chenevert

It is the Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de l’agglomération de Montréal that sets out the conditions under which Montrealers can cut down trees. According to Jonathan Théorêt, the director of the GRAME, these conditions are quite loose. While some municipalities systematically require a permit to cut down trees, it is not the case in all legislatures. CKUT reporter Chloe discussed with him the GRAME’s proposals to solve this problem.

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Idefix cries each time anyone cuts down a tree (source: Astérix et Obelix “The Mansion of Gods” p.12)


More, More, I want more! 

  • Contact Lisa (l-mintz@hotmail.com) and Louise (514 464 9094) to get involved with Sauvons la Falaise or for any further questions. They are thrilled to answer any questions about starting your own environmental association. Check out their facebook page 
  • Tree Planting! Sauvons la Falaise will be planting trees on March the 2nd (9am) with NDG WMAC [meeting place: St-Jacques and Cavendish]. BYP- bring your own poetry about trees. 
  • Join the GRAME’s campain “Un Arbre pour Mon Quartier”  and check out the group’s facebook page 
  • Join the Jane’s walk organised by Sauvons la Falaise. All the info is available here




Coalition fighting for energy transition in Quebec prior to COP21

The 2015 UN Climate Change conference in Paris begins this upcoming Monday. In the midst of this event the Quebec government is currently holding a controversial stance on energy transition. Many new studies, about 4000 pages long, have been made public very recently. Continued fossil fuel use in Quebec is an issue that needs wider public discussion. The Quebec government seems to be more interested in continued fossil fuel exploitation and consumption rather than using cleaner alternatives. The goal is to nearly eliminate all usage of fossil fuels by 2050.
Many public organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, are concerned that they have been given such short notice to provide a proper strategic environmental assessment on the usage of fossil fuels and transitioning towards cleaner alternatives. Jean-Patrick Toussaint, the spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation, provides some more insight on our goals for the future considering the current economical and environmental status in Quebec.
This is an ongoing assessment that will continue well after the conference in Paris. The David Suzuki Foundation, as well as other affiliated organizations, plan on furthering the discussion based on what bills will be proposed in the future at the National Assembly concerning fossil fuel exploitation and usage.
This interview was produced by Dinith Karunanayake.

Interview on Energy East pipeline impacts on Bay of Fundy with Tim Gray

(Photo Credit: Fundy Baykeeper/Conservation Council of New Brunswick)
(Photo Credit: Fundy Baykeeper/Conservation Council of New Brunswick)
[audio https://ia601508.us.archive.org/10/items/EnvironmentalDefenceInterview/Environmental%20Defence%20Interview.mp3]

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Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization and recently joined forces with other environmental organizations as well as the First Nations people and citizens of St. John in order to call for a rejection of the Energy East pipeline in the Bay of Fundy, one of Canada’s greatest ecosystems.

This interview was produced by Victoria Xie.

Youth sit-ins at MPs’ offices all over the country


Credits: journal metro

[audio https://ia801507.us.archive.org/34/items/INTWKristenPerryAndJuliannaDuholke/INTW%20Kristen%20Perry%20and%20Julianna%20Duholke.mp3]

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Today July 3rd, students and youth across Canada are turning up the heat. They are demanding that politicians across the political spectrum get serious about climate change, with sit ins confirmed across the country in 7 offices happening simultaneously. In Montreal, over 20 local youth have staged sit-ins at NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau’s Montreal constituency offices to call on the party leaders to commit to freeze tar sands expansion and drive a transition to a renewable energy economy in Canada.

CKUT member Anouk Millet talked with Kristen Perry, a member of the sit-in at Thomas Mulcair’s office, and Julianna Duholke, who participated to the sit-in at Justin Trudeau’s bureau.

CKUT News Collective

Grassy Narrows Walks Against Logging, Youth Group Issues Statement

Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network.
Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network.
[audio https://ia600307.us.archive.org/23/items/RandyFobisterBlog/Randy%20Fobister%20blog.mp3]

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Community members in the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northern Ontario undertook a “Walk to Protect Grassy Narrows Traditional Land Use Area from Destruction” last weekend. The event, organized in part by Band Councilor Randy Fobister along with grassroots community members, was a display of ongoing resistance to industrial logging in their Territory by people in Grassy Narrows.

Manif contre le Plan Nord épisode 3


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Leila Lemghalef est allée au Palais des Congrès hier matin lors d’un rassemblement contre le Plan Nord. La manifestation a été organisé par ASSÉ Une foule est venue avec des pancartes lisant Plan Nord Plan Mort etc. Voici quelques de leurs remarques. Nous allons d’abord entendre Bobette.


Interview with Kanahus Manuel

Photo: Murray Bush (Vancouver Media Coop)
Photo: Murray Bush (Vancouver Media Coop)

Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe Camp Stands Up to Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley Mine Disaster

[audio http://www.mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/audio/ckut_news/kanahus_manuel_final.mp3]

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Kanahus is a mother and warrior from the Secwpemc Nation in the Shuswap region of so-called British Columbia. She has been active in fighting against development projects and corporations such as the Sun Peaks Ski Resort and Imperial Metals. Recently, she has been involved in organizing to raise awareness about the Mount Polley gold-copper mine tailings spill, possibly the worst mining pollution disaster in Canadian history. She helped to set up the Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe camp at the disaster site. For her efforts, she has been named as a defendant by Imperial Metals in a court injunction to stop blockades of the mining company’s operations. She was in Montreal last week, and came by CKUT for an in-depth interview, produced by Aaron Lakoff. Continue reading