Mirabel: airport lands will be returned to the expropriated

The saga of the expropriated Mirabel finally reaches its conclusion, half a century after the great upheaval caused by the construction of the airport.

Ottawa announced Monday it is reviving the sale process of some 750 acres of land expropriated in 1969 to the expropriated and their estates.

These lands are part of the 11,000-acre airport reserve that was announced for retrocession in 2006, which began in 2008 and was extended until 2013.

However, the 750-acre portion was excluded from the sale because it was landlocked and inaccessible, an obstacle that is now being removed as a result of an agreement between the federal government and the City of Mirabel to provide access.

The announcement was made by the federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, in the Laurentian municipality.

Mr. Garneau has also received a hero’s welcome from the expropriated, present in large numbers at the Mirabel City Hall.

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau government expropriated some 97,000 acres of farmland in 1969 for the construction of the airport, which was to become the hub of passenger air traffic in the Montreal area.

The adventure proved a failure down the line, culminating in the demolition of the terminal building in 2014.

About 3,000 families had been affected by these expropriations.

Since then, some 80,000 land has been surrendered in the 1980s.

Further negotiations could occur, this time involving unused land located inside the airport area.

The city of Mirabel has long claimed these surplus lands for its own industrial development.