A plot of land larger than five football fields to turn into a sprawling parking lot with nearly 1,900 spaces around the future Vaudreuil-Dorion hospital is at the throat of local elected officials who are once again pleading with Quebec to reconsider its plans.
A petition containing the names of more than 2,300 people opposed to the parking plan was to be presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday by Vaudreuil’s independent member Marie-Claude Nichols.
Last June, he and the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Guy Pilon, went on a public campaign trail in favor of regular parking, citing economic considerations, condemning plans for multi-story parking, either underground or surface.
Since then, nothing has changed. “They will create a heat island of over five hectares next to a hospital. […] We go back 10 years, 15 years, through the asphalt “patch”, Mr. Pilon protested.
The mayor is very encouraged as Vaudreuil-Dorion tries to tackle the heat islands. Contractors have to build underground parking lots, while the city planted 11,000 trees last year, he said as an example.
“We have reached the end of our rope in our actions. […] Whoever was involved, we tried to have meetings with different ministers,” the mayor added, lamenting that he only received comments from the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest.
The magistrate hopes the petition will convince the government to change its plans, but not so much. “The government is leading. He makes laws, breaks laws and changes laws. He does what he wants, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. […]. If he decides things aren’t moving, there’s not much to do about it,” he admitted.
Initially estimated at $1.7 billion, the hospital project was re-estimated at $2.6 billion. In an effort to cut costs, the government decided to build a larger parking lot, which would save $50 to $80 million.
Health Minister Christian Dubey’s office insisted last June that the parking lot would be planted with plants to reduce its environmental impact.
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