Angell Woods owners want the city to negotiate in good faith

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    by Kevin Woodhouse

    www.thesuburban.ca

     

    At last week’s Beaconsfield council meeting where it was announced that the city is hoping the provincial government will adopt or create specific legislation to deem 17.6 hectares of Angell Woods as protected wetlands, Diana Shahmoon of Seda Holdings, one of the principal landowners of the expansive green space, was present to object to the city’s way of handling the dossier. 



    Shahmoon even printed up a pamphlet that she passed out to citizens and plans were in order to get the flyers distributed to all residents. The proprietors are asking for the “city to sit down with the owners, in fairness and transparency, and negotiate an ethical solution that suits everyone. 



    For Sarah Blustain and her mother Diana Shahmoon of Seda Holdings: 



    “We have mailed to the entire population of Beaconsfield a flyer noting our willingness to negotiate, despite the mayor’s public pronouncements to the contrary,” explained Diana’s daughter, Sarah Blustain, also of Seda Holdings. 



    “Everyone agrees that climate change presents a threat, and that we need to act to protect our planet,” noted Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle. “Even the smallest effort counts. In Beaconsfield, we believe that every action carried out, every effort made and every step taken to increase awareness of the importance of protecting our wetlands is crucial, and this is true throughout all of Quebec.”



    “Wetlands are well known for their critical role in water purification, their capacity to absorb flood water, and the natural habitat they provide for several threatened species,” said the mayor. “In Beaconsfield, we are fortunate to have some of the most important wetland areas on Montreal Island.”



    Shahmoon and Blustain sent a letter to David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change contesting the city’s latest request “on the basis that the city is acting in bad faith and that the resolution or the studies on which it is based does not reflect, in our opinion, the reality of our property. Because of that, we wish to inform your ministry that any action taken to provide a grant for the acquisition of our property will be vigorously contested.” 



    This is not the city’s first attempt at protecting the woods from development. Several weeks ago the city of Beaconsfield sought Heurtel and his ministry to protect two portions of undisclosed size in Angell Woods to be preserved due to their important ecosystems. 



    At the time, Bourelle told The Suburban that he hoped that the land owners and the city could reach an agreement although “I’m not sure if they are willing sellers,” said the mayor. 



    Shahmoon’s flyer explains that the owners do want to work constructively but “the city is trying every maneuver to devalue our land, while attacking us for doubting that they have any intention of negotiating in good faith.”

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