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 The PQ ridicules the argument of seismic risk justifying a third link

Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “I think we are not on the San Andreas fault, here in Quebec “, mocked MP Joël Arseneau on Wednesday. “We are in the final corner of the arguments which would militate in favor of a third link. »

The Parti Québécois on Wednesday ridiculed the comments of experts on the “seismic risk” which should justify the construction of a third link in the National Capital. The Minister of Public Security, for his part, reassured the population about the safety of the Pierre-Laporte bridge.

“I think we are not on the San Andreas Fault, here in Quebec,” mocked PQ MP Joël Arseneau. “We are in the final corner of the arguments which would militate in favor of a third link. »

In an open letter published Monday in Le Soleil, engineer Daniel Toutant and engineering professor at Polytechnique Bruno Massicotte propose a new third link scenario that combines a bridge and a tunnel. They brandish the argument of the vulnerability of the Pierre-Laporte bridge in the face of an earthquake and make the third link project a “public security” issue.

Also read

  • The “new” third link scenario was ruled out in 2021

A version almost identical to the scenario they are proposing has already been studied — and discarded — by the Ministry of Transport in 2021. Of the four proposals studied at the time, this one received the worst rating.

< p>According to Mr. Arseneau, the argument about seismic risks is “marginal”. “What is the risk between a major earthquake in the Quebec region and an asteroid hitting the old capital? I would like to have figures on this to know if we really need to invest in the third link with billions of dollars,” he said. “I would prefer that we invest in the safety of the bridges and that we maintain them properly,” he added.

Really need that?

The Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, for his part affirmed that “there is no risk of crossing the bridge”. The minister responsible for Infrastructure, Jonatan Julien, did the same. “The feedback we have and have always had from the Ministry of Transport is that the Pierre-Laporte bridge is safe. I trust the experts, they are the ones who have the expertise,” he attested.

MP Sol Zanetti, from Québec solidaire, recalled that the idea of ​​a bridge and a tunnel was studied and “declassified”. “What is happening at the moment with this question of the third link, [is that we] are not starting from the analysis of needs. We're just looking at how to make a third link without asking ourselves: do we really need this? “, he said. “To use people’s fear of infrastructure security to push a political project is an irresponsible attitude,” he added.

At the Liberal Party of Quebec, MP André A. Morin recalled that his party requires that an “independent expert committee” make proposals to the government that are “based on science.” “Bridges don’t last forever. So, eventually, we will have to act. But we have always relied on science,” he said. In his opinion, the question of seismic risk could be studied by a committee of experts.

With Alexandre Robillard

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116