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Pont de Québec: Ottawa's takeover faltered

Pont de Québec: Ottawa’s takeover faltered

run out of timeA source familiar with the negotiations sighs.

However, ongoing discussions continued for several weeks. The negotiator arrived last month Pierre Lorte In the Canadian patriot camp allowed a rapprochement between the two parties. For the first time, a representative of the federal government, Yvonne Charst, can take advantage of a dedicated file contact person.

There was a genuine desire for an agreement on both sides, but in the end, it was an agreement We escaped.

Quote from:A source familiar with the negotiations

Faced with the imminent launch of the federal election campaign, the Trudeau government ended the talks.

Trouble in Quebec

According to information obtained by Radio Canada, the compensation paid by CN for Ottawa’s purchase of the Quebec Bridge is in line with the expectations of the Trudeau government.

The participation of the Legault government in the final financial package would not have allowed the conclusion of the agreement.

At the beginning of the summer the president of the Canadian Treasury, Jean-Yves Duclos, made clear that Ottawa needs to Adequate compensation before agreeing to take over the bridge.

President of the Canadian Treasury, Jean-Yves Duclos

Photo: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh

With passengers in excess of 30,000 vehicles per day, the Ministry of Transportation of Quebec (MTQ) remains the bridge’s primary user.

If CN owns the hull, the responsibility for the deck rests with MTQ, hence the need for significant compensation from the provincial government, according to the federal government.

CAQ defends itself

For the province of Quebec, there is no doubt to take the hat off the debates.

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The federal government was simply too demanding, drops a source in Legault’s government.

This person close to the file recalls MTQ’s commitment to replacing the entire deck of the Quebec Bridge, which is nearing the end of its useful life.

This is a great contributionOur source insists. Construction costs are expected to reach $200 million.

In the federal camp, it is emphasized that this is a fraction of the work necessary to ensure the sustainability of the structure, estimated at 800 million over 25 years.

Delayed?

The start of the federal election campaign closed the window of opportunity left open for the purchase of the Quebec Bridge by Ottawa.

The color of the government elected next month could significantly affect the relaunch of talks, especially if a plan to return to balanced budgets is eventually announced at the end of the pandemic.

Two cyclists on a bike path Samuel-De Champlain promenade.

Quebec Bridge seen from the Samuel de Champlain bike path.

Photo: Radio Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

Opened in 1917, the Quebec Bridge is still an engineering marvel, suspended in a cantilever over the river, without the use of cables.

Its maintenance remains a hot topic in the capital, with the Canadian National saying its development is not its responsibility.

CN did not respond to Radio Canada’s request for an interview.