Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Lac-Mégantic bypass: Ottawa slows down, says CP

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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In a letter sent on Monday to Minister of Transport Omar Al-Ghubra, Radio Canada obtained a copy of it CP reveal him important concerns on numerous delays in the project and blamed it on Ottawa.

Eight years after the terrible railroad tragedy that killed 47 people at Lac Meganique, construction of the bypass doesn’t seem to be about to begin.

Transport Canada representatives do not appear to be acting with the level of urgency needed to achieve this government’s goal., the CEO writes CPKeith Creel. Either they do not intend to complete the project on time , he is writing, Or they have not received the necessary political guidance to overcome the significant obstacles to the rapid completion of the projectMr. Creel adds.

A letter from the CEO of a company CP Contrasted with Minister Al-Ghubra, who confirmed, until late Friday, that the project is progressing well. I would like to reiterate that the Lac-Mégantic bypass rail corridor will remain a priority for the Canadian government, until it is fully completed in 2023.wrote in a press release.

land tenure

The railway tragedy in Lac-Mégantic killed 47 people in 2013.

Photo: afp via getty Images / AFP

In his letter, the CP Reporting a delay in the purchase of land necessary for the passage of the new railway, and in the financing of the project.

It’s very disappointing, said Mégantic-Lober Conservative MP Luc Berthold, who represents the region. if it was CP Don’t believe, why doesn’t Transport Canada give the truth to citizens?

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Ottawa must negotiate with 44 owners for the 80 pieces needed to build the railroad bypass. Transport Canada wants to avoid expropriation and wants to acquire the land through mutual agreement negotiations with the owners.

The landowners interviewed by Radio Canada say they have not been approached to enter into negotiations with the government. What seems to confirm the message CP Minister Al-Ghubra.

The government has not started acquiring the necessary land as planned in the spring of 2021, writes CP And it doesn’t seem to be on track to complete the process on time So construction starts this winter. Went The only way to reach this 2023 goal, to me CP, He is To start construction of the bypass in the winter of 2021-2022.

Transport Canada says this is not true. The first bids to purchase the land began to be submitted, refers to regulation by press release, adding that Offers will continue to be offered gradually over the next few weeks.

Conservative MP Luke Berthold regrets that Transport Canada has not adhered to these negotiations with the respective owners. He says it is important to complete the project quickly, but not at the expense of the agreements negotiated with the owners.

The project was initially valued at $133 million for a 13-kilometer rail section, paid for by Ottawa with 60% and the Quebec government by 40%. The evaluation is outdated, it will cost much moreRep. Luke Berthold says, Mostly due to inflation and rising material prices.

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The CP It also accuses Transport Canada of administrative slowdown. The railway company is waiting for purchase permits from the government to purchase the steel needed for the project.

Current and accepted routes for the Lac-Mégantic bypass.

Current and accepted routes for the Lac-Mégantic bypass.

Photo: Radio Canada

On two occasions in October, it was CP He was unable to complete the transaction because he did not receive the necessary documents from Ottawa on time. Nowadays, TC Necessary permits have not been granted yet and steel has not been ordered yet indicates a message CP.

In its letter, the rail company also called for a better financial arrangement with Ottawa. CEO Creel regrets that my representatives TC Project Handling As a normal project with normal financial terms, while seeing that it takes more advantageous terms for Meet the strict, accelerated and unconventional schedule of the project.

government response

The office of Minister Al-Ghubra indicates this This project is an absolute priority for our government and no society should go through what Lac-Mégantic has experienced.

We have accelerated the process, while ensuring that all safety and environmental standards are met, says a spokesperson for the Minister.

About Talabat CP Regarding the financing of the project, the Ministry of Transport replied that it expects this CP Respect the strict conditions set during the negotiation process to complete this project.

This impasse between Ottawa and CP It doesn’t bode well, a conservative member of Mégantic-L’Érable thinks.

yes the CP Nor can the federal government reach an agreement, says Luke Berthold, and no timetable can be considered realistic. I request CP And to Transport Canada for a quick deal, they owe it to the citizens of Lac-Megantic.

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