May 5th, 2015
May 5th, 2015
After the Conservative government’s failure to fix the Pont de Quebec once and for all, Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and NDP MP Denis Blanchette (Louis-Hébert) tabled a bill today to repaint the historic infrastructure.
“In 2005, Stephen Harper came to Quebec and laughed at the Liberal government of the time because it was incapable of putting a fresh coat of paint on the Pont de Quebec. It’s been 10 years since he promised that a Conservative government would repaint the bridge, and we’re still waiting,” said Mulcair.
The Conservatives have always hidden behind long and costly legal proceedings to justify their inaction. When the courts ruled in favour of Canadian National Railway (CN), saying it wasn’t the railway company’s responsibility to finish the job, it put the onus on the government to enact legislation that would put this issue to rest. While the Conservatives instead pursued a fruitless public battle with CN, Blanchette and his team worked on a bill that would finally get Pont de Quebec repainted.
The bill contains two measures: The first stipulates that the heritage railway structures recognized under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act must be maintained to highlight their beauty and historic character. The second gives the government the power to order that the work be done and paid for by the owner if necessary.
“It’s a concrete and effective solution to a problem that’s gone on too long,” said Blanchette. “The Liberals got caught up in costly and unproductive legal proceedings. The Conservatives too broke their promise ,and after 10 years in power, the bridge continues to rust. The people of Quebec and the South Shore are tired of Conservative inaction.”