Full house at the Mégantic Sports Center for the public meeting of information about the bypass. The route chosen by governments for its implementation, Corridor 1, also called Option 1, 12.8 km long, valued at $ 133 million, is not unanimous, being disputed by the people of Nantes and Frontenac who will receive it on their territory. They are angry to see governments shoveling in their yards the problems of a railway line that we do not want to see in Lac-Mégantic anymore.
This route would pass south of the bypass road, in the middle of a vast perimeter preserved for home development by businessman Raymond Lafontaine, ruining, according to him, the construction of 300 houses on as many lands. Further on, the route bisects the farmland of Frontenac’s landowners, instead of going to the trécarré on the periphery of the land.
A question period reserved for the population was quickly animated, monopolized by the Nantais and the Frontenacois who will suffer more disadvantages of the relocation of the railway. Several were not shy about verbally abusing the interveners before them, 11 in number, mostly from Transport Canada, but also from AECOM, a feasibility study agent, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and two Quebec ministries.
During the question period, Jean Paradis, a citizen of Marston, raised the problem of the yard in Nantes, which is likely to stay there, and from where went the crazy train of July 6, 2013, at the top of a slope, an aberration according to him.
Isabelle Boulanger, a resident of Frontenac who lost her son in the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, questioned the usefulness of the BAPE’s first hearings, which came to Lac-Mégantic in May 2017, which recommended the status quo and the modified status quo, options that the authorities have not retained. “I had no problem with the train on July 5, 2013, but on the 6th it changed my life, and here we want to transfer to my home a railway line that I do not want and that will constantly remind me of the loss. my son! She said. She was warmly applauded by all participants.
A bush owner from Nantes, Josée Morin, was offended that the bypass will pass in the middle of his maple grove. “We are stopping the economic development of an entire municipality, while this bypass route should go north of the roadway, where there is absolutely nothing. ”
Sylvain Côté, also from Nantes, asked several questions, asking at one point if we waste his time asking questions, even though Prime Ministers Trudeau and Couillard, the same morning at the announcement, had shown themselves open to study adjustments to the chosen route.
Jacques Gagnon, from Lac-Mégantic, said he was very surprised that the property of the bypass will go to the Central Maine and Quebec Railway (CMQR), an American company that is given a $ 133 million infrastructure.
The moderator, Alain Cacchione, of Transport Canada, had taken care before the question period to warn participants that the officials present did not have all the answers, but that the contact information would be collected and everyone would be contacted later. to receive the answers to his questions.
The grumbling of the citizens only increased as the meeting unfolded. In the end, the moderator simply warned that the messages would be made at the offices of the ministers concerned, who would see to adjust according to the opening demonstrated by the prime ministers, if that were the case.