When Eric Duheim has a better financial argument than you, it’s time to question yourself.
Posted at 6:00 p.m.
A Conservative leader, Democrat and second only to him as a popular figure, the Quebec region was in his view.
But he also – he! – The claims made by the CAQ government to build a “third link” tunnel boring machine with two tubes seem crazy. He, like some experts, prefers a new, less expensive bridge.
From here I can hear them screaming against the prevailing west wind: we know, in Montreal and so on.
Friends of Quebec and the surrounding areas, I urge you not to fall into the trap of false regional competition as desired by Transport Minister Franకోois Bonnardell.
He actually gave the media a new figure, which is completely unprecedented: the number of bridges per million residents.
Isn’t this an objective measure of equality between regions? The number of hospital beds per resident is well calculated. Why is there no bridge ratio? You had to think about it!
Montreal has 8.7 bridges per million inhabitants, while Quebec has only 2.44.
As you say to me: Montreal is an island, it is common to be well-fitted on bridges. Others notice the surprising deficit of bridges in Roin-Noranda.
But seriously: is that the argument of Franకోois Bonardell? Did the people of the country put forward that file to justify this colossal work?
We can talk about transportation. We can talk about town planning. Talk about the environment. We can talk about regional development.
But for now I want to dwell on only one thing: this government is preparing to engage the state to the tune of $ 7 billion without any serious economic and scientific arguments.
Automobile traffic increased, as did everywhere in Quebec. Current bridges are saturated compared to estimates 40 years ago. Even in Montreal, we realized this.
From there, many questions arise: Is this really a unique issue? I mean: is the traffic in Quebec in such a bad condition that it justifies building another “link”? And if so, are the two tunnels of 8.3 km each in an unknown basement really the right solution? What will be the impact of these new structures? Are there other options?
According to Lewis Meyer, Gilles Lehoulier, the quarrel with Quebec has stalled several projects, with no predictable urban expansion. Zero. Why? Because the tunnel connects the two existing highways. Isn’t that logical? We only speed up traffic between busy roads.
This is the very definition of urban sprawl: the more road infrastructure you build to allow traffic to flow, the more you encourage traffic to remote areas as transportation costs decrease. This is math. The suburb just expands into a big belt.
This is a possible “social” option, you remember. That being said!
But do not say that it is neutral, that it does not change anything, or even better, that it “enhances the attractiveness of public transport.” Mr. Bonardell really said that. Without laughing. We reached two double lane tunnels, we do not really know how public transport fits in there, but for some unknown reason it makes public transport more attractive …
This is really the only point here: what is the rational basis for public policy? Is there a minimum scientific basis for the decisions of our governments? Are we really talking about bridge standards for every million residents?
The Quebec Mayor, Bruno Marchand, said very clearly, very simply: What is data? What is the basis for justifying such a project?
In his presentation on Thursday, Minister Franకోois Bonnardell cited the evolution of travel between 1997 and 2017. Plus estimates for the next 15 years.
It is weak, very weak. Although it is stated that it takes into account the evolution of telework, this concept was not known until almost two years ago.
We all understand that the government is keeping a perfectly constitutional path: the federal government must provide 40% of the funding. Franకోois Legalt “did not believe” that this would be rejected. Proof: The Vancouver Tunnel is co-financed by the federal government. We forgot to mention that this is a 1959 tunnel, so repairs are being made and not new infrastructure. In fact, it is very clear that Ottawa did not put any money into it.
When we made the genealogy of this “third link”, we realized that it had become a political issue when some radio stations in Quebec decided to fight it, if it had been a dream for a long time in Lewis. CAQ candidates adhere to it. It has become a regional promise. So much so that we first announced this tunnel without the most extensive, smallest study in the world. When they realized it didn’t make sense, they came back with this new version. Because the project will not die.
In short, the solution was announced before a serious analysis of the problem.
And we are still waiting for a good mayor of Quebec and many others in the area who do not dare to say so. What are we waiting for?
Facts. Numbers. Science.
Does it seem to me that planting scientifically by Eric Duheim should not be funny?