Montréal, Monday May 26th 2014 – Local residents gathered at NDG’s Monkland Community Centre Saturday morning to learn more about the threats posed by the emerald ash borer, an Asian insect with no natural predators in North America.
“Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has over 4000 ash trees and every single one is threatened by the ash borer,” explained Sylvain Ouellet, city councillor in Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension and Projet Montréal spokesperson on the environment, who was giving the presentation.
Already in the United States and in Ontario some streets have become treeless almost overnight, and the neighbouring town of Hampstead had to cut down close to 70 trees earlier this spring. The absence of trees affects public finances, the environment, and public health. “If we do not act now, we will have to cut down all our ashes within a decade,” continued Ouellet, also noting that the Official Opposition requested an emergency budget which the administration refused.
“We need to take responsibility for this, for our citizens and for the environment. Funding the fight against the emerald ash borer must become a priority for the Coderre Administration and all of Montreal’s elected officials,” stated Notre-Dame-de-Grâce councillor Peter McQueen.
“Residents of our borough need to be aware of the major consequences this insect will have. We should be informing our neighbours and pushing our elected officials to act so as to avoid treeless streets in the near future,” said Simon Delorme, member of the local Projet Montréal association in Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Guests were invited to sign Projet Montreal’s interactive petition agrile.projetmontreal.org) that allows residents to locate ash trees throughout the city and to pressure the Coderre Administration to act.