Press Release: Westmount seeks injunction against MTQ to prevent excessive noise

Westmount – February 7, 2018. In May 2017, the City of Westmount initiated legal proceedings to obtain an injunction against the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports (the “MTQ”) for the construction of the Highway 136 – formerly Highway 720 – as part of the Turcot project.

Westmount finds it unfortunate that it has to resort to the legal process to settle a dispute considering that both its activities and those of the MTQ are financed by public funds. However, the goal of the City of Westmount is to improve the quality of life of its citizens and to ensure their health and safety.

It is acquired, according to the MTQ’s own publications, that a sound level that exceeds 55 dBA can hinder and disrupt the quality of life of those who live near the place where the noise emanates. A sound environment that exceeds 65 dBA can cause severe disruption, sleep-related difficulties, increased blood pressure, increased fatigue, depression, reduced performance, and degradation in quality and performance, especially for older people and children learning.

Highway 136, which is currently being built, will lead to a flagrant violation of the Environment Quality Act, RLRQ c. Q-2 (“EQA”), which the MTQ knows and seems to unfortunately willfully ignore. In fact, once Highway 136 is completed, the noise climate will exceed 65 dBA at several locations in Westmount territory, even reaching more than 70 dBA in some areas.

The City of Westmount also regrets that the MTQ changed in 2015, unilaterally, without any consultation with the City of Westmount and in contravention of the Government of Quebec’s Order in Council 890-2010, the design of Highway 136 heading West. The route approved in 2010 by decree provided for a lowering of the roadway by almost 50% of the planned length of Highway 136. This route therefore had a positive impact on the sound environment in that, had it been respected, the residents of the sector could have benefited from a decrease in sound levels from 7 to 15 dBA.

Reading Order-in-Council 890-2010 quickly shows that the sound impact, the respect of environmental standards and, at the same time, the quality of life of residents were at the heart of the considerations that led the government to authorize the MTQ to build Highway 136. It is inconceivable that the MTQ has modified, without any authorization, in violation of Order in Council 890-2010 and without consideration of the environmental impact that this could cause, the route of Highway 136 currently under construction.

Considering that Highway 136 under construction will eventually create a source of pollution – noise – which is a contaminant within the meaning of the EQA; whereas the MTQ is constructing this work knowing the noise impact it will have, once built, on residents of the City of Westmount; whereas the construction of Highway 136 is in contravention of Decree 890-2010 of the Gouvernement du Québec; considering that the City of Westmount and its citizens are faced with this situation, the City of Westmount requested on January 29, 2018, by letter addressed to the Minister responsible, Mr. André Fortin, that he personally intervene so that a solution, in the best interest of taxpayers can be developed.

Attempts by the City of Westmount to find a negotiated settlement have all, to this day, not been addressed by the MTQ.

In view of the foregoing, the City of Westmount is therefore asking the Superior Court of Quebec, as of February 12, 2018, to order the suspension of work currently underway to ensure that the MTQ complies with Order in Council 890-2010 and that it builds a structure that will eventually comply with the Environment Quality Act.


Source: City of Westmount

For media inquiries please contact:

Anne Renaud
Executive Assistant, Mayor’s Office
City of Westmount
(514) 989-5314