A Shot in the Park: Hawa's Fight to End Legal Hunting in the West Island.

Updated: Feb 20

In an exclusive interview, West Island News spoke to Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa regarding one of the most urgent and dangerous issues the West Island faces.


When passing by École Du-Bout-De-L'Isle elementary in Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue, one might hear the joyous sounds of children playing in the schoolyard, the dogs in surrounding houses barking and of course, the sound of a rifle being shot in the distance. It might seem that one of those sounds does not belong but shockingly, it does.

As it stands, the island of Montreal falls under Zone 8 North, an area that Quebec's ministry of Forests, Wildlife & Parks designates as a regulated hunting zone. This means hunters and poachers can use their guns, bows, crossbows and animal traps to catch their prey in many areas on the island, including the cherished L'Anse-À-L'Orme Nature Park which sits just a few feet away from the elementary school.

While there are a few regulations that must be followed by those on the hunt for game, Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue mayor, Paola Hawa is growing tired of what she calls "an archaic law" allowed by the government of Quebec. Needless to say, because this is a provincial law, it holds more power in court compared to any regulations the municipality would set to protect the areas. Hawa's main cause of concern? Something she's been saying for almost a decade: "Someone is going to get hurt!"

Kris Artuso spoke to Hawa in a West Island News Exclusive Interview.