Did you know that less than 20 minutes from Montreal there is a large peat bog sheltering a population rich in biodiversity such as carnivorous plants, orchids, but also moose and deer?
The large Blainville bog is now crossed by a superb bike path linking the town of Blainville to the town of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines. This path now allows citizens to circulate safely without being bothered by motorized traffic. It also allows you to travel in an enchanting setting with diverse landscapes passing through the forest and the swamps then by a less common landscape, that of the Grande Tourbière de Blainville.
Peat bogs were once seen as spaces without values, where it was almost impossible to move around, because most of them are permanently flooded. Useless for agriculture and any viable trade in the eyes of humans, these places were devalued, to the point of being used as dumps. This is what unfortunately happened for part of the Grande Tourbière de Blainville.
Before continuing, it is time to restore the letters of nobility to this place. A peat bog is the most noble environment. The Blainville bog was once a large lake, estimated to be over 6000 years old. At the end of its life, the lake was invaded by algae which siphoned off the oxygen, then the sphagnum moss took over. This is how the great Tourbière de Blainville was built, after thousands of seasons, to brave the cold, to accumulate layers of sphagnum peat moss. After hosting entire colonies of animals and plants.
This is how today, from the height of our knowledge, humans are taking this Great Tourbière de Blainville hostage. No company names will be disclosed, but some heinous events towards the bog will be revealed.
Near the bike path, debris can be seen in the distance, tires, logs, ocher-colored streams. Turtles even bask on floating debris in a dark marsh. The space that we observe is a former disused dump of a company which would still be the owner of this place. Citizens have already reported these sightings and some articles on the subject had been written in 2021.
This is disastrous at first glance, taking into account that from the bike path, these remains can be seen. What is more interesting is that on the other side of the disused dump is the Grande Tourbière de Blainville. A majestic space by its size, a mythical space by its history and an essential shelter for the fauna and flora which abounds there.
Quite disconcerting that these two opposites coexist and that the landscapes below are so close to us? It feels like being in the Far North to see these photos. This is the Grande Tourbière de Blainville, a forgotten gem that has been diverted for the benefit of companies and organizations that have turned a blind eye to the destruction of a unique and visceral ecosystem for the survival of the ecological balance.
This state of affairs is one of the most disturbing. However, 2 other findings were established. To the west of the Great Bog is a company that stores explosives. This company operates with the utmost legality. An environmental report provides an overview of the facts. However, it is unfortunate that we feel a trend settling around the bog. When we talk about explosives and waste, it certainly arouses a common emotion among ordinary mortals. It seems that these two elements combine very badly with the word “Nature”.
Then, as the latest find, further north of the Grande Tourbière de Blainville, a natural gas compression station sits proudly at the end of a newly built gravel road that fractures a smaller peat bog to the north. From these repeated events of establishment of high environmental risk facilities, it seems obvious that the Grande Tourbière de Blainville is currently in a vice that is tightening as the years go by.
The Great Tourbière de Blainville had already stimulate the interest of the authorities in power in terms of conservation and protection in the past. However, nothing concrete had seen the light of day except for the very beautiful development of the Lacs Fauvels near the peat bog.
More and more citizens will walk near the Grande Tourbière de Blainville and environmental awareness continues to grow. It would therefore be a great opportunity to protect, enhance and finally, respect this enchanting space. There will be no other opportunities to save more than 6000 years of history and ecological heritage in Blainville if no action is taken.
In the case you witness a harmful situation against the environment, here are some resources that may be useful to you.
Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Environmental Complaint Reporting Form
Centre Québécois du Droit de l’Environnement
Enviro-Hotline – Contact form to help any citizen wanting to help protect the environment.