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The tramway-related takeover has been suspended

The tramway-related takeover has been suspended

Four months after the suspension of the Quebec streetcar line, the acquisition process associated with the megaproject has been officially suspended “at least until June 2024” by Quebec City and the Legault government.

Newspaper I got a letter signed by the head of the tram project office, Daniel Genest. This letter will be sent to 213 owners affected by the acquisition. Their plots are found almost everywhere along the 19.3 km tram route, but are 60% concentrated in the Avenue René Lévesque sector.

“In the context of the current pause, we inform you that it has been decided by mutual agreement between the city and the government to suspend the current procedures, at least until June 2024. This suspension is temporary and does not constitute a cessation of the acquisition process,” writes Mr. Genest.

The project manager said he “understands that the decision to suspend ongoing acquisitions may raise specific concerns,” adding that an “individual analysis process” has been put in place “in order to minimize the effects of the current halt on owners.” Worried.

Note that these are consensual acquisitions of parcels of land or easements and not expropriations.

Complex files

How can we explain that the formalization of the suspension comes after four long months of forced cessation of the project by the government?

“It is a complex process. We have looked at the file from all angles from November 2023 [moment de la mise sur pause du tramway]. It took a long time before we came up with a game plan for acquisitions. It took a lot of discussions and exchanges with the Department of Transport to come up with the best possible solution,” admitted Emily Begin, head of the communications team at the Tramway Project Office.

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Meanwhile, the city was able to complete some acquisitions that were very advanced. This was particularly the case near the Sainte-Foy shopping centre, the Roland-Bodin axis (except for the Campus de Rochebelly) and the Rue Laurier, Ms. Begin said.

Sudden stop

On September 15, 2023, just seven weeks before the tram was to be temporarily halted, Marchand's management announced that it was accelerating the pace of acquisitions which it hoped to complete before the summer of 2024.

“The tram is moving forward. Now is the time to make acquisitions to build this essential project for our city,” Bruno Marchand enthused at the time.

A few weeks later, the Quebec government took the project out of the city's hands and tasked Infra with the CDPQ and Infra to think about the best structure for Quebec's transportation network. CDPQ Infra's conclusions are expected in June.

The acquisition is linked to the tram

– 408 items are required for the tramway.

– 47 files were completed and 361 files were in process when the project was paused.

– 213 owners will receive a message from Daniel Genest informing them of the situation.

– Quebec City has received permission from the Legault government to continue proceedings in 131 cases.

– Since November 8, 2023, the city has concluded two additional acquisitions in Sainte-Foy (IA parking lot at 1200, Rue de Léglisse and 920, Rue Roland-Bodin).

– As of November 8, 2023, the city has been allowed to move forward with forfeiture actions in 93 files.

Source: Tram Project Office