Since the CAQ came to power, transfer cases that have turned into a psychodrama have been piling up in the Quebec City region. We must now add the Quebec Bridge.
It is hard to understand the reasons why the Quebec government, the main user of the Quebec Bridge, would rebel against having to pay more rent to the federal government for the bridge, if the latter acquired the infrastructure.
In fact, the Quebec government refused to get the bridge. After that, he pays rent to use it since 1947. Since 1993, this rent has been paid to the CN that owns it, but has not maintained it as it should.
Infrastructure is rusting, de-icing salts are damaging it, which is why Quebec has also pledged to replace the bridge deck. It is therefore necessary to work on implementing the estimated $784 million work over 25 years.
The Quebec Bridge remains vital and essential to the Quebec region, whether or not there is a third link eastward in the future. A solution advocated by many of the file’s stakeholders, for several years, was the purchase of the bridge by the federal government, which eventually agreed. So the Trudeau government appointed a negotiator, the former CEO of the Industrial Alliance, Yvonne Charest.
For three years, this respected businessman worked hard to get out of the predicament and he succeeded. Against all odds, the two parties finally came to an agreement. So the Quebec Bridge will be saved!
All that is missing is the Quebec Agreement, which has pre-emption. Quebec, by virtue of this right, can decide to match the offer, if it wants to become a buyer. But even if this is not the case, Quebec is rude and does not want to pay to repair the bridge.
However, CN agreed to take on part of the costs, as did the federal government, which will invest $2 for every dollar paid by Quebec. It is very normal for rent to increase in Quebec when you start a business of this magnitude.
According to my information, Quebec should not add more than five million dollars annually to the seven million dollars it is currently paying in rent. It’s too little for Quebec. Then what is the future of the bridge, if the federal government can’t get it, CN isn’t maintaining it properly and Quebec doesn’t want more?
Given its importance and the origin and destination of the bridge users (from West to West), one cannot just say: let’s destroy it and create a third link.
You’d have to be blind not to notice that CAQ has been repeating for months that the two bridges (Quebec and Laporte) are obsolete and, therefore, requires a tunnel.
The government is trying by all means to justify its own flawed plan. Don’t be fooled by the federal government. Nor Mr. Charst, one of the suspects. Meanwhile, the Quebec Bridge, an architectural symbol of the region, continues to rust and deteriorate.
Tram costs rose due to CAQ’s turn against the project. And it will continue to do so more after the election, if it gets the strong mandate that polls predicted. The third link remains ambiguous and default.
Honestly, the Quebec region has certainly never been so poorly served.