REM opponents go to appeals court

Environmental groups looking to block the forthcoming REM light-rail project have launched an appeal, seeking to overturn a lower court ruling against them.

Back in December, a Quebec Superior Court judge rejected a legal challenge from the Montreal Climate Coalition and five concerned citizens, who argued that the government went about its consultation process all wrong.

The plaintiffs insist proper public hearings weren't held, and a proper environmental assessment was not conducted — and until they are, the project must be put on hold.

“The government of Quebec decided that [its consultations were] sufficient," said Campbell Stuart, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. "That they were just going to roll over everyone on this and proceed anyway.” 

In early 2017, the office governing public hearings on environmental issues, the BAPE, produced a report which suggested the promoter of the REM project, the Caisse de Depôt, failed to produce some key documentation on the project — including major elements of the project that were not subject to public debate.