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“Our project is strategically located in Contrecœur, and we’re clearly committed on a modern environmental project.”

— Paul Bird, Vice-President, Contrecœur project

Regulated and responsible port development

In March 2021, the Port of Montreal received a Decision Statement from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada in favour of the Contrecœur project. The Decision Statement sets out some 387 implementation conditions, which cover environmental and social issues, and which often require the participation of First Nations. Many of these obligations stem from commitments made by the Port of Montreal aimed at consolidating the new terminal’s sustainability approach.

Did you know?

Compliance with the implementation conditions set out in the Decision Statement in favour of the project is overseen by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) and its enforcement officers. Among other things, the IAAC’s officers carry out site inspections and investigations to ensure that the project implementation conditions are complied with and put into effect. To learn more, visit the IAAC’s website.

The Contrecœur project includes various mitigation measures and compensation plans. Some of them were put in place prior to the commencement of construction of the new terminal and are already being monitored by our teams. For the planning and implementation of these measures, we are drawing on our people’s unique expertise, supported by our collaborators, scientific partners and First Nations experts.

Bank swallows

The bank swallow is a protected species in Canada. To protect the bank swallow’s habitat, the MPA constructed six artificial nest boxes out of concrete and sand at Contrecœur in 2019 and 2020, with 1,200 burrows available for nesting. The swallows quickly occupied the nest boxes provided. Would you like to learn more about our nest boxes? Find out more here. (French only)


Western chorus frog

The western chorus frog is a protected species in Canada. The species is rare in southern Quebec and its population numbers are currently low. Habitat avoidance measures for the western chorus frog were incorporated into the planning phase of the container terminal project to reduce pressures on its habitat. Although the terminal facilities will be located outside the frog’s habitat area, mitigation measures will be put in place to reduce the cumulative effects associated with development in proximity to its habitat. These measures include setting up diversionary fencing for the frog during construction of the terminal, along with buffer zones in strategic locations.


The Contrecœur project site is frequented by various species of bats. The status of some of these species is vulnerable. Feeding primarily on nocturnal arachnids and insects, bats are particularly fond of habitats located along woodland trails, forest edges and wetlands. To meet their resting and reproduction needs, three bat condominiums were built in 2021 in the vicinity of the new terminal. Acoustic monitoring and maintenance are carried out to document how the condos are used. 

Forest habitats

To offset the removal of trees required to build the new terminal, the Port of Montreal plans to plant approximately 40,000 trees and shrubs in the Contrecoeur region. Priority will be given to sites that strengthen the connectivity of forest habitats throughout the area and ensure the long-term viability of the facilities. We will be working closely with our implementation partners and stakeholders with a view to addressing their needs.


The development of three permanent marshes is being considered on the Port of Montreal lands in Contrecœur to compensate for the wetlands affected by the construction of the port terminal. The future marshes, totalling approximately 20 hectares, will fulfill several ecological functions, including pollution control, biodiversity conservation and landscape quality.

Copper redhorse

The copper redhorse is a fish endemic to Quebec. The species spawns in the Richelieu River. Once it reaches adulthood, it feeds in aquatic grass beds in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Saint-Pierre. The new container terminal will encroach on 1 ha of the adult copper redhorse’s feeding grounds. The MPA is planning a number of measures to offset twice this impact, in collaboration with various partner organizations. Examples include the creation of habitats conducive to aquatic grass beds; a project to improve water quality in a subwatershed of the Richelieu River; an incentive program for research on copper redhorse reproduction; and a program designed to raise river users’ awareness of recreational boating best practices.

Since 2022, the Fédération de l'Union des producteurs agricoles de la Montérégie has been working on a concrete project in the Séraphin-Choquette Creek watershed, a tributary of the Richelieu River, the copper redhorse's main known breeding site. Financed by the MPA, this initiative aims to contribute to the recovery of the species, notably through eco-responsible agricultural practices. Want to know more about this project? Find out more here (French only).


Aiming for Net-zero

The Contrecœur project includes various technical measures designed to ensure access to carbon-neutral facilities as soon as the new terminal begins operation. Our long-term goal is to operate an emissions-free container terminal. Among these initiatives, the use of electrical port equipment and wharf electrification will serve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additional details on priority measures will be shared in the coming months. In addition to applying Green Marine’s performance indicators, the Contrecœur project is seeking to obtain Envision certification. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure established this system for recognizing sustainable infrastructure development. Envision provides a framework for assessing sustainability and resilience in major infrastructure projects.  Learn more about Envision


Environmental commitment

The Port of Montreal and its implementation partner are committed to addressing the social, environmental and economic aspects of the Contrecœur project. Learn more here :


Full documentation of the Contrecoeur project

Environmental commitment

The Port of Montreal and its implementation partner are committed to addressing the social, environmental and economic aspects of the Contrecœur project.

Monitoring reports

In addition to compensation plans, the Contrecœur project will include various environmental monitoring programs. Consult the results of our environmental monitoring reports, as required by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC):


 Environmental reports

Environmental Benefits of Technology

The Port of Montreal lies at the heart of innovation. In 2018, we teamed up with Centech, a technology incubator affiliated with Montreal’s École de technologie supérieure (ETS). Together, we created North America’s very first port innovation accelerator. Centech’s Collision Lab X explores four pillars of innovation: logistics chain visibility and goods mobility; cybersecurity; process improvements and agility; and logistics chain decarbonization. On the environmental front, this partnership will give the Port of Montreal access to new and innovative services offered by startups. We are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that can be integrated into the Contrecœur project. Recently, our partnership with Centech allowed us to develop an intelligent tool to assist locomotive drivers. With a view to maximizing the replacement of old, energy-hungry locomotives with low-emission rail vehicles, the assistance tool will help optimize the operation of these new-generation locomotives, thereby further reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Would you like to learn more about this technological collaboration? DISCOVER IT HERE

A recognized technology partner

Centech is ranked among the top 10 high-performance university business incubators worldwide. LEARN MORE IN THIS ARTICLE