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e-4100 (Environment)

Initiated by Anne-Claude Foucault from Pierrefonds, Quebec

Original language of petition: French

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • This summer, Aéroport de Montréal razed more than 4,000 milkweed plants in the Monarch Fields, a natural area known for its biodiversity, located in a 155-hectare federally owned area for which ADM is responsible for managing;
  • This action caused widespread outrage and condemnation from the media;
  • The Monarch is a designated species at risk in Canada under the Species at Risk Act;
  • On the government's website we can read that the government “manage[s] [its] federal properties … to provide essential habitat for migrating Monarch.” ;
  • Milkweed is critical for Monarch survival;
  • The area is also a refuge for 193 bird species, including 14 species at risk and 33 recognized as “priority” species by Environment Canada; and
  • These lands are part of a 215-hectare ecosystem that helps protect biodiversity, support resilience to climate change and connect people with nature.
We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to vote to modify ADM’s lease and ensure the federally owned land is managed responsibly and to work with Parks Canada, Dorval, Montreal, ADM, the appropriate landowners, as well as the Indigenous people in this unceded territory, to transform the wild land between the Technopark and ADM (Monarch Fields, green spaces, wetlands, etc.) into Canada’s second national urban park. We thank the government for listening to us and we hope for concrete, rapid action on this file.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Omar Alghabra

Aéroports de Montreal is a private, not-for-profit corporation operating at arm’s length from the federal government under the terms and conditions of a long-term lease signed with Transport Canada. Under its lease, Aéroports de Montreal is responsible for managing, operating and developing the Montreal-Trudeau and Montreal- Mirabel International Airports.

Transport Canada is contractually bound under the lease to respect the administration of Aéroports de Montreal as the operator and developer of these airports. Accordingly, the Government of Canada cannot unilaterally intervene to transform any airport lands under the management of Aéroports de Montreal into a national urban park, in accordance with the terms of the lease.      

However, it is important to note that the lease between Transport Canada and Aéroports de Montreal includes environmental protection requirements, and that the airport authority has demonstrated its commitment to the protection of the local ecosystem and its biodiversity. Under its lease, Aéroports de Montreal is responsible for protecting the environment on the leased premises and must comply with applicable environmental laws such as the Impact Assessment Act and the Species at Risk Act. The Impact Assessment Act designates Aéroports de Montreal as the body that must apply this law and which must, notably, analyze the environmental impacts of its projects and apply mitigation measures, if necessary.

To date, Aéroports de Montreal has demonstrated its environmental commitment by implementing measures protecting the ecosystem and its biodiversity at the Montreal-Trudeau Airport. The airport authority has created a protected zone over a territory of 2 million square feet of airport lands in an area neighbouring the "Monarch Fields". In April 2021, Aéroports de Montreal inaugurated the Des Sources Ecological Park in this area.

Under the Species at Risk Act, Aéroports de Montreal must notify the competent minister or ministers in writing if a project is likely to affect a listed wildlife species or its critical habitat and, if the project is carried out, a permit could be required. On November 5th, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a notice of intent for consultation by Environment and Climate Change Canada on the assessment of the status of the Monarch and two subspecies of the Western Bumble Bee (mckayi and occidentalis).

In recent months, the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change met with airport leadership, including the CEO, to reaffirm the Government of Canada’s support of Aéroports de Montreal commitment to preserve 2 million square feet of ecologically sensitive land and to obtain a clear path forward and details on their intention to increase public access to the site. The Ministers reiterated that the protection of green spaces and of the environment, as well as the adoption of sustainable land use strategies are priorities for the Government of Canada, and that both they and the Montreal public are eager to see this plan implemented as soon as possible.

On this matter, concerned people may also reach out directly to the Aéroports de Montreal at the following coordinates:

Public Affairs

Aéroports de Montréal 800, Place Leigh-Capreol Dorval (Québec) H4Y 0A5

Email address:

On-line contact form:  


Open for signature
August 12, 2022, at 9:26 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
October 11, 2022, at 9:26 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
October 20, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00769)
Government response tabled
December 5, 2022
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus