Growth the creed of urban encroachment north on the A5


by admin on April 20, 2011

The Editor,

It’s a propos, at this time, to recall the words of ecologist Aldo Leopold: “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question if a higher standard of living is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.”

As letters in the Low Down reveal, urban encroachment is spreading like a cancer now that the territories of Gatineau, Hull and Aylmer are saturated. The conservatives –  mistakenly equating growth with prosperity, and prosperity with well-being – have pushed development up the line north into Chelsea-Wakefield and beyond.

But growth is the creed of the cancer cell. The conservatives’ catalyst is the rapidly- extending Hwy A5, which has already sacrificed Gatineau Park’s original eastern boundary at the Cross Loop Road and opposite Morrison’s Quarry.

The clear-cutting here has violated the conditions promised in the MTQ environmental assessment (EA) screening report by choking streams with debris. No sediment barriers exist to prevent silt entering the Gatineau River from the now-denuded slopes west of Hwy 105 opposite the quarry. The Brown Lake sector in La Peche is next up for grabs by MTQ construction crews.

The political machine has run amok – with the collapse of society’s connectiveness to nature. More than faith is necessary to prevent the removal of mountains. Wakefield residents must unite and block the onslaught by direct action or live to regret the consequences.

Ian Huggett
Chelsea, Quebec

Ed. note: The letter writer is director of Eco-Watch, a Gatineau-based environmental investigation group.