Coderre has the backing of the Quebec government, and is accusing the federal Conservative government of “playing politics” with the issue to gain votes on the eve of the federal election. On Wednesday, TVA reported the city of Longueuil flushed 150 million litres of sewage water into the river last March as part of construction work, with the federal government’s consent. The Victoria and Esquimault regions of British Columbia dump 130 million litres of raw sewage a day into the Juan de Fuca Strait, CBC News reported, and municipalities like Montreal and Toronto regularly spill sewage water into their nearby rivers and lakes when heavy rains overflow their sewage systems.
The most recent, and severe, criticism of the proposed dumping, came from south of the border.
opposing side says
Sarah Dorner, associate professor of civil, geological and mining engineering and the Canada Research Chair in source water protection, told CBC Montreal's Daybreak that the city has no choice but to divert the wastewater into the river.
"There really is no other engineering or technical solution to this," Dorner said.
Dorner said the interceptor that's being closed is a massive and expensive piece of infrastructure that took years to build.
'This is more than 30 kilometres long, up to five metres wide. There's a reason it took so long to build this. You can't just build that overnight.'
- Sarah Dorner, Canada Research Chair in source water protection
She said schemes to replace or bypass it temporarily are impractical