Montréal, Tuesday, December 15, 2020 – Valérie Patreau, Outremont Borough Councillor and Chair of the Commission sur l'eau, l'environnement, le développement durable et les grands parcs, and Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President of Les amis de la montagne, had the pleasure today of awarding the Prix du Mont-Royal 2020 to Dr. Guy Breton, Rector Emeritus of the Université de Montréal.
Due to the public health measures in effect, this year’s edition of the Prix du Mont-Royal ceremony took place online with an audience of a hundred or so guests. The event was an opportunity to unveil a short documentary film highlighting Dr. Breton’s contribution to Mount Royal, as well as those of the honourable mention winners.

As rector of the Université de Montréal from 2010 to 2020, Dr. Breton distinguished himself by his leadership and contribution to the protection and enhancement of the northern face of Mount Royal, in particular through the lease of a portion of land belonging to the Université de Montréal to the City for the creation of Tiohtià: ke Otsira'kéhne Park. He also bequeathed to Montrealers an unprecedented commitment from the university to no longer build new buildings or “further diminish the natural heritage of Mount Royal.”

He is also credited with numerous actions in favour of local biodiversity that were carried out by the Université de Montréal during his mandate. These include the 2012-2020 Biodiversity Action Plan, the biodiversity inventory and update of the list of endangered species on the territory, as well as the creation of a biodiversity advisor position, an expert on Mount Royal, attached to the rectorate, the only position of this type in a university setting in Quebec.

“As rector of the Université de Montréal, Guy Breton lent his support to the protection and enhancement of the northern face of the Mount Royal Heritage Site. Thanks to his vision, the population now has access to a new green space, to new views of the city and to a mountain that is better protected than ever. His exemplary leadership will continue to inspire us to showcase Mount Royal, to protect it and to fight for the safeguard of its ever so precious biodiversity,” declared Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante. 
Isabelle Ménard, Vice-President, Commercial Credit Risk Management at TD and President of the Quebec Advisory Committee of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, called attention to the importance of the collective investment in the protection of Mount Royal. “It is with pride that we support, again this year, the Prix du Mont-Royal that rewards inspiring people who, like us, have the mountain at heart. At TD, we believe that green spaces such as Mount Royal are essential to building strong and resilient communities and that remarkable actions in their favour should be recognized,” added Ms. Ménard.

“Dr. Breton has played a strong leadership role with regard to the mountain’s protection for 10 years. His vision, which is manifest in several major bequests for Mount Royal, is a source of motivation for our community, but also for the leaders of metropolitan organizations, which have a major role to play in preserving and enhancing Mount Royal. Royal,” stated Les amis de la montagne President, Peter A. Howlett, C.M.

Honourable mentions awarded to two friends of Mount Royal

The ceremony was also the opportunity to award two honourable mentions to individuals who distinguished themselves by their contribution to the protection of the mountain’s natural environments.

A first mention was awarded to Line Bonneau, a remarkable volunteer citizen who distinguished herself by giving the most hours to Les amis de la montagne’s Environmental Stewardship Program. Involved in several causes in the surrounding area, she is also the founding member of the group AmiEs du Boisé Dora-Wasserman.

A second mention was awarded to Denis Fournier, who distinguished himself by his valuable contribution to existing knowledge in urban biology, having worked as a technician in wildlife planning and natural environment management for more than 30 years at the City of Montréal. His many accomplishments include developing a wildlife tree management program as well as a raccoon vaccination campaign that continues today in several large Montréal parks.

In recognition of their contributions, each of the winners received a sculpture by Quebec artist Michel Boire made with ash wood recovered from trees infested with emerald ash borer on Mount Royal.  

About the Prix du Mont-Royal

The Prix du Mont-Royal is awarded to individuals, associations or organizations whose commitment and outstanding actions help protect and improve Mount Royal. Established by Les amis de la montagne in 2005, the Prix du Mont-Royal is presented in association with the City of Montréal and the precious support of TD Bank Group.

About Les amis de la montagne

Les amis de la montagne is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education.

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Karine Théberge
Head of Communications
Les amis de la montagne
514 268-6962

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