A day after seeing the new, more modest version of the 3rd grade project link, Bruno Marchand again expressed concern about the “urban sprawl” that the megaproject could cause.
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This is what the mayor of Quebec repeated on Wednesday morning in a series of interviews given to Montreal media. His exit comes the day after a meeting during which the Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, presented him with the main lines of the megaproject. A public announcement by the Minister on the Quebec-Lévis tunnel will take place on Thursday afternoon.
“We want facts and proof on important elements: the environment, urban sprawl, traffic in Quebec, what are the effects? With that, it will allow us to decide if it is a good or a bad project for Quebec”, he launched Wednesday morning, on the show Hi helloon TVA.
Mayor Marchand added that urban sprawl “is exactly what we experience every time we create a space to move around like that. The government must be able to say that we are going to contain urban sprawl. If we don’t limit urban sprawl, we increase our GHGs (greenhouse gases) and reduce our chances of reducing the effects of climate change”.
Like his Lévis counterpart Gilles Lehouillier, Bruno Marchand will be present on Thursday afternoon when the new version of the third link is announced.
Claude Villeneuve, leader of Quebec First, said he shared Mayor Marchand’s concerns about road traffic in Quebec and urban sprawl.
“Urban sprawl leads to a whole host of other development choices that are not optimal. Larger urban networks mean streets that cost more to clear snow, and larger water supply networks that need to be developed. It is not an efficient economic choice,” he insisted. According to him, “knowledge in this area tells us that by adding a road link, we create urban sprawl”.
For her part, Jackie Smith, head of Transition Quebec, called on the mayor of Quebec to “be combative” and to end his “very vague speech” on the 3rd link. “The project is coming and we must mobilize the troops immediately against this project which has no interest for the people of Quebec,” she said.
According to the municipal councillor, “if you want to make a highway that will end in a field, it is clear that it will create urban sprawl. It’s as if he (Mayor Marchand) was asking for a measure so that the water doesn’t get wet.”
Quebec 21 chose to wait for the official announcement on Thursday before commenting.