Vanier Road Ecocentre moving forward, residents may have an ecocentre by 2026
The Vanier road ecocentre seems to be moving forward. Gatineau administration presented a set of recommendations outlined by the working group on the project during a plenary committee meeting. The working group was created after some nearby residents had concerns with the effect the project would have on their neighbourhood.
The mediation process consisted of a public information session, the creation of the working group, a dialogue and discussion process from April to June, and then the drafting of a recommendation report.
The working group consisted of a member of the Plateau Residents Association, a member of CREDDO (Conseil régional de l'environnement et du développement durable de l'Outaouais), and a representative for Gatineau. The final draft includes 13 recommendations.
“Overall, I'm pleased that the project is moving forward," said Gilles Chagnon, Lucerne councillor, who initiated the project and advocated for the ecocentre for many years. "Social acceptance, even mediation, is necessary in a project like this. It takes time, but it's a necessary step.”
The first recommendation asks to consider using a PPCMOI, which is a process to allow for a specific construction, modification, or occupation of a building, rather than a zoning change. The working group also recommended preserving the area of the land that is not occupied by the ecocentre by prohibiting future construction on the site. They also ask that the ecocentre be as far away from residents as possible on the planned property.
The working group has also asked for a study of the traffic flow of the area, as well as a study of sound disturbance. They also hope that greening is improved on the site, and that there are precautions taken for light and sound pollution during and after construction of the ecocentre to mitigate disturbances to residents.
Other recommendations include respecting and going beyond groundwater protection regulations, and identifying and implementing measures to limit pollution of Moore Creek. The working group also recommended putting the ecocentre exit on the southern part of the site to optimize safety and visibility, and that the city proceed with pavement repairs on Vanier Road.
“It's difficult to say at this stage whether all the recommendations will be implemented according to the revised timetable. They will be evaluated by the administration. The municipal council has welcomed the report and is still in favour of the project,” said Chagnon.
In addition to the recommendations, a revised timeline for the ecocentre project was presented. This timeline foresees the opening of the ecocentre between Autumn 2026 and Winter 2028. Next steps include changing the zoning, which should take place by February 2024, as well as the acquisition of the property between May and December of next year.
“I find the process very long between project approval and completion,” said Chagnon. “I'd have liked to see it come to fruition more quickly. At least the presentation on October 3 shows that everything is moving in the right direction.”
Gatineau plans to purchase a private lot 3 835 037, on Vanier road between Pink and Vernon for the construction of the ecocentre. Similar to the ecocentre in Gatineau, the centre will allow residents to dispose of items such as tires, electronics, recyclables, styrofoam, metals, construction waste and textile and other types of waste.