Quebec Bridge: the agreement between Ottawa and CN welcomed with joy and relief

Quebec Bridge: the agreement between Ottawa and CN welcomed with joy and relief
Quebec Bridge: the agreement between Ottawa and CN welcomed with joy and relief

Confirmed Thursday, the highly anticipated announcement of an agreement between the federal government and Canadian National (CN) for the purchase of the Quebec bridge by Ottawa was greeted with a mixture of surprise, relief and joy in the region of the Capitale-Nationale.

Released in the morning by Cogeco Media, the information was confirmed, through a statement, by the federal Liberal minister and member of Parliament for Quebec, Jean-Yves Duclos.

“After a lot of hard work, the Canadian government has indeed reached a historic agreement with CN for the purchase of the Quebec bridge,” he said.

Finally!

Even if the details of the agreement will not be known until the beginning of next week, Bruno Marchand and Gilles Lehouillier did not shy away from their pleasure.

“I can not wait to see. We will wait for the officialization. It’s time. We can say: “finally”,” said the mayor of Quebec.

The most important thing in his eyes is now to renovate the bridge and highlight it to “make it something beautiful”. “It’s solid, but its beauty leaves something to be desired,” he maintained. There is a gem there that we should be proud of.”

Asked about the portrait of mobility that could change in the region, Mayor Marchand nevertheless remained cautious. “Usage is taken care of by the Quebec government. There remain challenges, he agreed. This structure does not expand because we become owners of it.”

On the other side of the river, Mr. Lehouillier immediately spoke of “very good news”. The mayor of Lévis added that “the people of Lévis and Quebec deserve quality infrastructure.” He recalled that “the Quebec Bridge is a heritage symbol in North America and a vital link between the two shores.”

For its part, CN declined to comment.

$784 million over 25 years

On Thursday, it was not possible to know the details of the agreement, because the parties concerned limited themselves to specifying that a detailed announcement would be made soon.

The last known figures date from autumn 2020. They come from the report revealed by The newspaper and written by the federal negotiator in this matter, Yvon Charest. At that time, the businessman estimated that painting and maintaining the infrastructure would cost $784 million over 25 years.

It was following this report that Ottawa finally announced its intention to buy the bridge – rusty and more than a century old – which has belonged to CN since 1993.

Note that during the 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberals promised to resolve the Quebec Bridge issue before June 30, 2016.

– With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon, Parliamentary Office

What they said

“We have good news for Quebec City very soon. There was an agreement between the Government of Canada and CN, which allows us to move forward with the repair of the Quebec Bridge.”

– Pablo Rodriguez, federal Liberal minister

“The important thing, in the end, is that there is sustainability, and then that we can improve the Quebec Bridge.”

– Jonatan Julien, minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale

“I welcome the fact that this is finally resolved several years after we were promised it would be resolved.”

– Geneviève Guilbault, Minister of Transport

“2870 days is the time it took to finalize an agreement. It’s been over eight years! The Liberal results for the Quebec region: more rust on the bridge and a higher bill.”

– Pierre Paul-Hus, conservative MP

“We look forward to learning the details of this agreement and thus better understanding the impact it will have on the future of mobility in our great region.”

– Claude Villeneuve, head of Quebec First

“It’s so good news that it’s almost hard to believe it.”

– Patrick Paquet, Quebec priority team leader

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