A promise of the CAQ worries at the Grand Marché

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A promise of the CAQ worried at the Grand Marché

Report by Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc on the Champlain market which is not unanimous.

Merchants of the Grand Marché, barely installed in the new premises inaugurated in 2019, apprehend the promise of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) to resuscitate the Champlain market in the sector of the Québec-Lévis crossing .

This large public market was a hub of trade in Quebec in the second half of the 19th century. It was burned down in 1899, then demolished in 1910. The CAQ is determined to rebuild a building in the image of the period building.

Image of Champlain Market as it was in the 19th century. Photo taken from a CAQ video.

It would divide the clientele, launches Richard Audet without hesitation. People were used to the market [in the Old Port. There, we are used to the Grand Marché, we are well settled.

Honestly, I can't understand why they come to us with a deal like that, adds Luc Turcotte. The apple grower from Île d'Orléans has invested a considerable amount of money to set up shop at the Grand Marché. He has no intention of moving again for a few years.

Market gardeners also point out that Petit-Champlain has a strong tourist vocation, while they derive their income mainly from local customers. We are going to visit the markets, but we are not going to consume. Those who are on the cruise ships, they do not bring corn on the boat, illustrates Chantal Sauvageau of the Dubuc farm in Neuville.

All the traders met also raise concerns accessibility problems in the crossing sector. Car traffic is sometimes difficult and parking lots are already difficult to find.

The Leader of the Opposition at City Hall, Claude Villeneuve, supports all of these arguments. He believes that the CAQ project makes no sense. We have just developed the Grand Marché at Expocité. […] I don't think it's a good idea to compete with a City project. The elected official also notes that the crossing sector is prone to flooding, especially during high tides. Not a good place to build something.

Claude Villeneuve, leader of the opposition at City Hall.

“This is a promise that came out of nowhere. It doesn't answer any questions. There is a demand in Old Quebec for an expanded food offer, but here we are really talking about a tourism project. »

— Claude Villeneuve, Leader of the Opposition at City Hall

For his part, the mayor of Quebec prefers to give the runner a chance. Bruno Marchand believes that to oppose the project at such a preliminary stage would be in bad faith.

“To refuse an idea from the outset, I find that it is to prevent yourself from dreaming. We are in the early stages. It's a project, it's a dream, and election campaigns are made for that. You have to dream. »

— Bruno Marchand, Mayor of Quebec City

General Manager of the Grand Marché, Steve Ross, appreciates the government's desire to revitalize Quebec City. We don't want to cannibalize what already exists, he nevertheless warns.

Steve Ross, General Manager of the Grand Marché de Québec.

Steve Ross wants the Grand Marché to be part of the studies on the potential to rebuild the Champlain Market. The manager also wants to be invited to discussions to ensure that the offer will be complementary, rather than in direct competition with its merchants.

Charles Dermers also wants to be consultations. As general manager of the Coopérative Petit-Champlain, he sees the CAQ project as an attractive investment opportunity for the neighborhood.

Charles Demers, General Manager of the Cooperative du quartier Petit-Champlain.

At this point, if I understood correctly, it's a project office. What is important in my opinion is that all stakeholders, including the Cooperative, be around the table.

Before dreaming of a huge public market, However, according to him, we should first think of the residents and improve the food supply, which is practically non-existent in the area. There is no possibility of buying an apple. […] Can we wait 10 years? I think it's something we can do long before.

With the collaboration of Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc and Marie-Pier Mercier

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