Land dispute probably a government issue over heads of Chateauguay: new mayor

·2 min read

New Chateauguay mayor Eric Allard said the land dispute involving a housing development at the end of Old Chateauguay Road is a complicated piece of business that will require more research and examination than he has been able to do in the two days since his swearing-in, but did say the issue probably will have to be resolved with more levels of government at the table.

“From what I understand and have seen to this point, it is an issue that will have to resolved with other levels of government in the discussion,” Allard said. “I’m going to look into the situation. It’s definitely in my plans.”

The dispute began back in the summer, when a slated housing development encroached on Kahnawake territory. On July 1, a group of Kahnawa’kehró:non left the Longhouse on Route 207 and set up an encampment in the area of Parcel E of land returned from the Highway 30 project, and the parcel of land slated for the residential development. In June, the Longhouse issued a statement saying it was against the proposed project which would see 290 homes constructed in a wooded area that is contiguous to Kahnawake and the western boundary with Chateauguay.

Outgoing Chateauguay mayor Pierre-Paul Routhier suggested in August the federal government purchase the land on the border of the two communities to create a “buffer-zone.”

Routhier opted not to seek re-election, and now, it’s Allard’s problem.

The newly-minted Chateauguay mayor said since he was sworn in Monday, it has been two days “at the base of a very steep learning curve. It’s only been two days, but it’s been a little intense.”

“There have been a lot of meetings and a lot of information coming at me,” Allard said, adding his new city council would hold their first working session next week. By then, he said, his administration’s vision and priorities would take shape more clearly.

“I did get a lovely note from (Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Grand Chief) Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer and I’m hoping to meet with her as soon as possible. I suspect that will likely be on the agenda,” he said.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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