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Speed limit on the Richelieu River to 10 km/h: the new elected officials must stand up to the nautical lobby

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, November 16, 2021 – The Federal Ministry of Transport (Treasury Board) is preparing to adopt at second reading a regulation which will reduce the speed of motorboats to 10 km/h on a 20 kilometer stretch of the Richelieu River, which runs along the villages of Saint-Antoine, Saint-Denis, Saint-Charles and Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu. This is a first in Canada, the result of collaborative work and public consultations carried out since 2017 by MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval and the four previous municipal councils which unanimously supported the project.

However, certain boaters and private interest groups are opposed to this approach and are asking the newly elected mayors of the four municipalities not to confirm their support for the project before November 19, as required by the Treasury Board, which would put jeopardize the project. 

“The boats are getting bigger and bigger, more and more powerful, and they are making deafening noise and bigger and bigger waves. The recent fashion for wakeboats has made the problem worse. Added to the spring floods, these waves are sometimes disastrous,” specifies Michel Leduc of the Association of Residents and Friends of Richelieu.

The new regulation will limit the speed of mechanically and electrically powered boats to a maximum of 10 km/h. It will also be prohibited to pull a person on any sports or recreational equipment, and prohibited “surfing in the wake of a building in the targeted part of the river”. Currently, police services do not have any regulations allowing them to intervene against the excessive speed of boats. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a favorable opinion on the project, emphasizing that the excessive speed of boats and boating are identified as significant causes of the degradation of the essential habitat of the copper redhorse, a species found only in Quebec and whose population is endangered. 

This solution will significantly reduce bank erosion, improve water clarity, contribute to the peace and quiet of local residents and ensure better nautical safety on the river.

We invite the four new elected mayors, Jean-Marc Bousquet of Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu, François Berthiaume of Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu, Julie Lussier of Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu and Jonathan Chalifoux of Saint-Antoine- sur-Richelieu not to give in to private interests and to pursue objectives of protection and safe use of the river for all users.

And we sign:

 

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For informations :

Christian Généreux
Responsible for communications, development and mobilization
514 272-2666, ext. 302

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