Since the CAQ came to power, transport cases that have turned into psychodrama in the Quebec City area have been piling up. We now need to add that to the Quebec Bridge.
It’s hard to understand why the Quebec government, the primary user of the Quebec Bridge, would object to having to pay the federal government more rent for the bridge if it buys the infrastructure.
In fact, the Quebec government refused to acquire the bridge. Then he pays rent to use it since 1947. Since 1993 this rent has been paid to CN who owns it but does not maintain it as intended.
The infrastructure is rusting and de-icing salt is damaging it, which is why Quebec has also committed to replacing the bridge deck. There is therefore an urgent need for action to complete the work, which is estimated at $784 million over 25 years.
The Quebec Bridge remains vital to the Quebec region, whether or not there will be a third link further east in the future. The solution advocated by many of those involved in the file for several years was the purchase of the bridge by the federal government, which eventually agreed. The Trudeau government therefore appointed a chief negotiator, former CEO of Industrial Alliance, Yvon Charest.
For three years, this credible and well-respected businessman worked hard to break the deadlock and succeeded. Against all odds, the two parties finally came to an agreement. So the Quebec Bridge would be saved!
The only thing missing is the Quebec Accord, which has a right of first refusal. By virtue of this right, Quebec can choose to join the offer if it wishes to become a buyer. But even if it doesn’t, Quebec is brazen and won’t pay for the bridge’s repairs.
However, CN has agreed to pay some of the cost, as has the federal government, which will invest $2 for every $1 Quebec pays. It is quite normal for rent to rise in Quebec when work of this magnitude is underway.
According to my information, Quebec shouldn’t add more than $5 million a year to the $7 million it currently pays in rents. It’s very little for the state of Quebec. And then what’s the bridge’s future if the federal government can’t acquire it, CN doesn’t maintain it properly, and Quebec doesn’t want it anymore?
Given their importance, the origin and destination of the bridge users (from west to west), one cannot simply say: let’s destroy them and make a third connection.
One would have to be blind not to notice that the CAQ has been repeating for months that the two bridges (Quebec and Laporte) are getting old and that a tunnel is therefore needed.
The government is trying by all means to justify its plan, which is also flawed. The federal government cannot be fooled. Neither does Mr. Charest, one suspects. Meanwhile, the Quebec Bridge, an architectural landmark in the region, rusts and decays.
The cost of the tram has increased because the CAQ has opposed the project. She will do so even more post-election if she gets the strong mandate the polls are predicting. The third link remains equally vague and hypothetical.
Honestly, the Quebec region has certainly never been so badly served.