Montreal, March 25, 2024 – This Monday, before the Commission d’accès à l’information, lawyers from the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE) will represent a private citizen, Brigitte Watson, in her bid to obtain access to environmental information on the announced commercial and residential project in Pointe-Claire’s Fairview Forest.

In June 2021, Brigitte Watson requested access to La Corporation Cadillac Fairview inc.’s application for ministerial authorization and all related documents. Represented by CQDE lawyers, Ms. Watson contests the extensive redactions appearing in the various documents she obtained.

While awaiting the highly touted public register of environmental information, which would allow access to this information with a single click, CQDE’s lawyers are going to court to ensure that Ms. Watson can access the information, three years after her initial request.

“We’re facing a three-year process for citizens to have information about their environment. The Environmental Information Access Register must come into effect as soon as possible, to free citizens and government administration from this burden. In the meantime, the Ministère de l’Environnement is receiving thousands of requests for access each and every year,” explains Marc Bishai, a lawyer with the CQDE.

“Without the CQDE’s help, people like me wouldn’t be able to defend their right to access information. The fact that it’s difficult, if not impossible, for ordinary citizens to take these steps alone, without the support of lawyers, is totally unacceptable. I warmly thank the CQDE for their invaluable pro bono support in this case,” declares private citizen Brigitte Watson.

The hearing will take place in person at the office of the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec at 2045, rue Stanley, #900, starting at 9:00 a.m.

The Commission’s ruling is expected within the next three months.