Anyone following Turcot since the MTQ announcement of an new interchange in 2007 knew one simple fact – Jean Charest had to go! His government’s handling of Turcot was almost as monumentally inept, illogical, and politically suicidal as his decisions over student tuition fees. The new Parti Quebecois government has named Daniel Breton as Environment Minister. I don’t know him personally, but have seen him at countless public demonstrations, testifying at public consultations, and even running a light show/video event on the side of the Hydro Quebec building downtown. He would seem to be the real deal.
The article below mentions that most players in the Turcot saga would prefer not to see the CN tracks pulled over to the Falaise Saint Jacques. The Falaise is actually a city designated “Ecoterritory”. Moving the Turcot project beside it would be an anti environmental move in the typical going backwards/dumbing down swirl of enthusiasm that seems to be at the heart of the Tremblay era in it’s willingness to destroy all green space, and so many heritage buildings, on the Island of Montreal for the sake of real estate profits.
I have heavily criticized the MTQ over the years for their Turcot plan, but it needs to be stated that this was all under Charest who liked the project. Perhaps now we can get back to having a sensible conversation, a realistic talk in the year 2012.
Foes Of Turcot Plan Work On Alternative
by Andy Riga, The Gazette
MONTREAL – With the design of the new Turcot Interchange apparently no longer set in stone, opponents of the plan are working on a detailed alternative they say would cut costs, reduce car capacity and encourage public transit.
“It’s not too late to change the project,” said Shannon Franssen, a spokesperson for Mobilization Turcot. “In its current form, it would be disastrous not only for the neighbourhood, but also for all of Quebec.”
The coalition of community and environmental groups would scrap plans to increase car capacity to 325,000, from 290,000. It also wants public transit to be more prominent.
The group says money can be saved by eliminating plans to rebuild the Ville Marie Expressway. More savings can be had by not moving Canadian National tracks, an expensive part of the project because the land it’s moving to is unstable, inflating costs.
There is evidence the new provincial government might be willing to change the previous, Liberal, government’s $3-billion Turcot plan.
Jean-François Lisée, minister responsible for Montreal, has wondered aloud whether Quebec can revisit the plan.
Two of the plan’s most outspoken critics now have high-profile jobs — Environment Minister Daniel Breton and Thierry St-Cyr, now chief of staff to Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault. (more…)