The Government of Quebec recently announced it is setting aside $175 million over the next five years to fund the clean-up of vacant land. Of that the total sum, $120 million will be spent on cleaning up contaminated lands owned by the province and the remaining $55 million will be used to subsidize the clean-up of properties owned by municipalities and, in some cases, private property owners.
The government sees the clean-up funds as an investment in development that will spur growth and create jobs. Quebec’s Environment Minister, David Heurtal, stated in a news conference that the estimated value of the land that goes undeveloped because of contamination at $2 billion.
A similar program run in Quebec between 2007 and 2015 in which $60 million in provincial monies was used to clean-up 155 hectares (380 acres) of land. It was estimated that the $60 million invested by the Province for clean-up the lands resulted in $1.6 billion in private investment.
The announcement won praise from both the Union of Quebec Municipalities and the President of the Chamber of Commerce representing east Montreal. They both stated that the fund will bring economic opportunities and create jobs.