October 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Justin Trudeau announced a $40 million investment in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Justin Trudeau announced a $40 million investment in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine

The federal government announced Friday an investment of nearly $40 million over four years to rebuild the fishermen’s wharf at the dilapidated port of Cap-aux-Meilles.

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The wharf, which has been in need of major improvements for some time, will thus be rehabilitated. Works can start by 2024.

“It is our responsibility to ensure the safety and success of our fishermen here,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on the islands, stressing that the port of Cap-aux-Meilles also has a quay. Cruise ships, “nervous for tourism and fishing”.

A press release issued by the government on the occasion of this announcement reads, “Fishermen’s wharf in the port […] Built about 50 years ago and nearing the end of its operational life.

In February 2021, Transport Canada had to condemn almost half of the mooring bollards at this wharf due to their weak bearing capacity. A temporary wharf was also built last winter at a cost of $3.4 million to add four spaces for crab fishing boats due to a lack of mooring spaces.

Awaiting the announcement, it was indicated on Friday that wharf users have been consulted and a study has been launched to “determine what repairs are needed to keep the wharf running smoothly. To serve the local community.”

Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier, who was present at Cap-aux-Meilles along with the MNA for Gaspé and the Islands and the Prime Minister, said she was pleased that her government was paying attention to the needs of the Madelinots.

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“The port of Cap-aux-Meules, with its infrastructure, is the heart and lungs of the Magdalen Islands,” she said. […] I will accompany you on this adventure to a new port.”

Ms. Lebouthillier acknowledged, however, that the $40 million project does not include other anticipated improvements, particularly the expansion and consolidation of the port’s slipway so that a new 300-tonne gantry crane can be operated there, thanks to an investment by the Quebec government three years ago.

“The current 100-tonne crane is at the end of its life, the president of the Cap-aux-Meles Port Users Group (RUPCAM), fisherman Jocelyn Theriault, told us. This is our priority because the boats need to get out of the water safely.

Mr Theriault, however, said he was confident other announcements would follow soon. “It’s a big file, the port of Cap-aux-Meules. It has many things: Fisherman’s Wharf, Cruise Wharf, CTMA Wharf [pour les traversiers]. We’ll take it one file at a time.”

The President of RUPCAM is also anticipating discussions to this effect next week during Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s three-day visit.