$100 million found to paint Pont de Québec

$100 million found to paint Pont de Québec

The three levels of government have unearthed $100 million for the painting of the Quebec Bridge.

They ask Canadian National (CN) to pay the other half of the $200 million bill. CN have so far refused.

The federal government chips in with the largest contribution of $75 million, followed by the provincial government with $23.5 million.
Quebec City and Levis weigh in with $1 million and $500,000 respectively.

The federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, his colleague Steven Blaney, the Quebec Minister of Transport, Robert Poeti and Minister responsible for the Quebec City region, Sam Hamad, made the announcement in the presence of the mayors of Quebec and Lévis.

It invited CN to be a “responsible corporate citizen” to restore a shine to what they call an architectural gem.

“We show how this issue is important, the message is received from the population,’‘ pleaded Minister Lebel. ”It is unacceptable to leave the bridge in its current state.”

Hamad believes that the battle initiated by Mayors Régis Labeaume and Gilles Lehouillier weighed in the balance to convince Quebec and Ottawa to contribute to this work.

“We did not do this as a gift to CN, it was a gift to the people of the Quebec City region,” said Mr. Hamad. ”Fifty percent is a good deal for CN.”

The cost to repaint the Quebec Bridge is estimated at $200 million, but CN yesterday prompted the governments to launch a new study to clearly identify those costs.

In a statement issued late in the day, CN said it is not their intention to follow the lead of governments who are responsible, in their view, for the development of the bridge.

The railway company is willing to facilitate painting “to the extent that the three levels of government are willing to fund them.”

Minister Poëti defended the spending; arguing that despite the difficult fiscal environment, investment “for good reasons” is always possible.

Mr. Labeaume, who multiplies the outputs to put pressure on CN for a month, acknowledged that leaders are “hard to convince”.

“They are very lucky that the government decide to invest so much money. From now on, I do not know how they can refuse to pay the other part of the bill. It seems to me quite implausible,” insisted the mayor.

If this does not produce results, he promised to continue to “rock the carcass” of CN.

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