Madam Chair, members of Parliament, thank you for your invitation to present to this committee.
Before I begin, I wanted to mention that I sent the committee clerk a dozen documents. I sincerely hope that these documents will be brought to the attention of the members of the committee. With regard to the data collected by our measuring stations, you already have in hand an example of the noise peaks. Very often, Aéroports de Montréal and public health authorities talk about average data, but it's important to look at the peaks that the public are subject to. I will now move on to my testimony.
I am honoured to present on behalf of the citizens group, Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau, concerning the noise pollution around Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Airport. The noise is deplorable, and impacts thousands of citizens living on the Island of Montreal. This situation is in part the result of the strange decision made in 1996 by the airport authorities to close a modern airport, Mirabel, which resulted in a concentration of passenger traffic over the Island of Montreal.
I want to emphasize that, since the 1990s, citizens have been alerting Parliament to the problem. They have not been heard. Les Pollués de Montréal-Trudeau began their work informally in 2011, and the committee was officially formed in 2013. The objective of this presentation today, honourable members, is to convince you of the need to act, not only to improve the public health of thousands of Montrealers, but also to rebuild the confidence of citizens in the good faith of Parliament. In fact, Parliament has not maintained control over the management of international airports in Canada, nor has it sufficiently controlled the noise pollution caused by airplanes.
I will now go straight to the heart of the matter—namely, the requests made by hundreds of citizens since 2013 concerning the noise and air pollution at Montréal-Trudeau airport.
First, we ask for a complete ban on nighttime flights from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Being able to sleep at night without interruption from airplane noise is a fundamental need.
Second, last April 30, Aéroports de Montréal announced a $4.5-billion terminal project, a new terminal at Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport. We ask for the immediate freeze and end to this project and the preparatory work that has started.
As our third request, we ask for an economic, environmental, social and health evaluation of the current situation and of the impact of the project announced on April 30. The absence of suitable legislation in Canada allows for the creation of this sort of airport terminal project without adequate public evaluation.
Four, we ask that a public evaluation be carried out by an independent and scientifically competent group, which would include public hearings on the airport situation.
Five, since Aéroports de Montréal began to rent the airport, the management of noise and air pollution has been inadequate. We ask that responsibility for the assessment of its environmental impacts be transferred to an independent and transparent organization that makes its findings public.
Six, we ask Parliament to take back control and monitoring of the international airports in Canada, a role that was relinquished in 1992, when this was taken over by private organizations. Hundreds of citizens consider that the increased noise due to airplanes is a result of Parliament relinquishing its oversight. This change created negative impacts on the health and quality of life of thousands of people in Canada and on the Island of Montreal.
Seven, we ask that you take into consideration the analysis of Canada's international airports by Michel Nadeau and Jacques Roy, of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations. I provided a copy of their work to the committee clerk in both official languages. This study is very revealing of the situation and is accompanied by recommendations that are full of common sense.
These observations and recommendations are the fruit of thousands of hours of work since 2013 provided by volunteers living on the Island of Montreal and coming from all walks of life. These volunteers deplore the noise and air pollution created by the low-flying airplanes over the cities and boroughs of the Island of Montreal.
I will summarize my remaining points because my time is limited.
One of the many actions that led to these requests is a petition of 3,000 names that was tabled in the House of Commons in 2013. The Minister of Transport at the time, the Hon. Lisa Raitt, swept it aside.
We have installed noise measuring stations. This morning, you got an example of the graph they produce. Our stations are public and permanently measure airborne noise at about ten locations in Montreal.
We have tried, together with the citizens of the Papineau riding, to raise awareness of the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau. Our request for an appointment was refused: it seems that the member for Papineau does not want to meet his constituents.
In May, we wrote to the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, requesting public hearings on this $4.5 billion project. We have not received any response. I even followed up by phone.