Healthcare, News

Montreal’s Ecosystem and What is Being Found

by Victoria Brewster, MSW

I sit down to read the Saturday paper and on page 2 is a write-up about “Medications could damage river ecosystem.”

Montreal is itself an island and every time I leave Montreal to visit friends or family off island, I have to cross over one of our many bridges (the state of our bridges is another discussion) to do so. I love to look at the water and always think how beautiful it is.

The St. Lawrence River, the Lachine Canal, Rivière des Prairies to the north, Lake Saint-Louis to the southwest, and Lac des Deux Montagnes to the west. Water = the boat rides one can take, the bike paths one can bike, roller blade or walk on, which are right next to the canal;  the beaches, the old port and all the activities that occur year round, but do I stop to think of the ecosystem? No.

So, this article made me pause. How does a city which is progressive and modern not have a better water treatment facility to treat the river and our drinking water? Why is it that antibiotics, medications and chemicals along with hormones and pesticides are found in the St. Lawrence River?

A researcher at the Universite de Montreal is studying the accumulation of medications and personal care products that end up in our drinking water.

All these chemicals and medications affect the fish, animals and plant life that live in the river as well which begins a whole other disruption in the cycle.

By bringing attention to issues such as this, one hopes that change will occur or at the very least get more people involved. To me, it is advocacy, awareness, social welfare and social justice all in one.

Only in 2015 will a new disinfection system be put into place which is still two years away.

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/products-services/mapping-product/geoscape/montreal/6477

http://spacingmontreal.ca/2009/07/21/montreals-wastewater-treatment-part-i-a-history-of-problems/ – a few years old, but worth reading.

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