In five years, the former mayor Colette Roy Laroche admits to having some doubts about the realization of this rail bypass of downtown Lac-Mégantic.
“Short moments,” she says, “because I saw this project as a necessity, a must. I was convinced that governments would be sensitive to our cause and that they would find the arguments to justify its realization, “said the retired woman politician since November 2015, who acted as a beacon at the height of the storm and who witnessed the announcement of the completion of the bypass with a well felt emotion Friday.
“I am very aware that in many places, the railways still cross the cities,” says Ms. Roy, “but it was well said: exceptional situation, exceptional solution. What pleases me the most is that it will allow people who are still very affected by the tragedy to recover and hope, one day, to sleep well and stop being afraid. For me, it’s the rebuilding of people first. ”
Asked that the route seems to rekindle tensions in the communities he is going through, Ms. Roy was sensitive to the tightness she described as inevitable.
“Our two prime ministers mentioned it today, it is obvious whatever the route, there will always be affected people who will lose some of their land, their property,” she said. You have to be sensitive to what people are going to lose. At the same time, I appreciate the solidarity that has developed between the mayors of Frontenac, Nantes and our mayor. Whatever happens, they agreed to work together to find the best solutions that rally as many people as possible and cause as little damage as possible. I trust.”
WHAT THEY SAID
“The Prime Minister of Quebec, the Prime Minister of Canada and Minister [of Transport Marc] Garneau do not promise me but are ready to look for a route north of Highway 161 that would affect my citizens less” (Editor’s note the route chosen south of 161]. At the same time, we must try to do so at a lower cost and not add huge amounts of money to the amount announced today. I think that it is possible. […] In the coming months we will try to find a route that will be acceptable. ”
Jacques Breton, Mayor of Nantes
“It is sure that it will be good for a majority of Méganticois and Méganticoises to no longer see the train on a regular basis. But what I find most interesting with this announcement is the message we are sending to the Granite community that we consider them, that we are listening and that we will go ahead. . I think the whole community has something to be proud of. […] The thing to remember now is that since a minority will be less satisfied with the decision, the community will have to be divided. While the bypass is good news for the community, cohesion is one of the other factors that promote healing. ”