Sunday, June 4, 2023

Major Marchand returns to the third page

COPENHAGEN | After he had shown himself that the day before he had been reserved exclusively for the third link of public transport, when leaving the presentation in Malmö, where such a task was being carried out in the process, Bruno Marchand was pleased to return to his people. observations, and to backtrack.

It is still surprising to see how much the mayor of Quebec walks in sheep’s clothing when it comes to the third union. When it came to power, even if he wanted to oppose it for all reasons, the mayor of Quebec was very reluctant to make a statement.

Without a doubt, he is anxious, among other things, to control his relations with the CAQ government, with whom relations have been good for several months and with whom the costs of the tram are being negotiated, he repeats the expectation of studies and data. He was rightly concerned about the urban hay he could achieve.

We see him here alongside Peter-Luc Lachance, vice-president of the executive committee, who also participates in the mission in the city.

A few months ago, however, the mayor began to say that a heavy transport structure was necessary. On Saturday, in Sweden, he clearly went even further, showing that he was largely in favor of the Quebec-Levis tunnel reserved for public transport.

While the text referring to his words, including mine, had been online since the beginning of the evening (Copenhagen time), he wanted to go back the next day at noon. However, if he suspected that what was to be pointed out was more serious, he wanted to say it more quickly.

An inspiring project

For the record, Bruno Marchand spent Saturday in Malmö, Sweden, where the municipal authorities gave a presentation on the history of this city, considered a model of sustainable development in the world.

In particular, there was a discussion about the establishment of a tunnel worth about 6.4 billion Canadian dollars (four billion in cash), which is about twenty kilometers long, and which will be reserved exclusively for public transport. He ran there from the subway. Construction should end between 2028 and 2035.

This infrastructure is connected to the Oresundsbron, a 16 kilometer bridge-tunnel that has connected Malmö to Copenhagen, Denmark, for 23 years. Discussions have taken place, as explained to us by Stefana Hoti, the elected head of the city council in Malmö, so that they can remove the four car lanes that are there, to keep only the lanes where the train runs.

Ms Hoti explained that ‘it always costs less when you don’t build cars’, and there were even discussions about whether to include car lanes in the new tunnel.

At the end of the meeting I ask Bruno Marchand what he thinks about the project dedicated to the metro of Malmogia. He answers that he “must inspire us”.

Then the mayor was asked if the government of Quebec should not do the same, and approach and inspire from this city (Malmö), which will build a metro line in its next tunnel.

Mr. Marchand answered verbatim in this way: “The leadership will find inspiration where it seeks it. If we want to respond to ecological problems, to the problems of moving people, if we want to increase the fluidity of travel, the public is the best solution and we have been fighting in the tunnel for a long time, not just reserved streets. on the one hand, but the lanes reserved at all times, we believe for certain, that a great many people will be transported.

The first elected later added “after the fact that the cost to the government has to be shown, the impact that it has, there will have to be costs to pay for it, but it is a global trend. The preference trend is also global […]»

But this afternoon, Bruno Marchand told the press that he would have preferred to say “a private public transport that is the most capable in the third link”. As for the motorway part, I can’t get involved in that.

The mayor also said “the royal side, the government will decide what to do” […] I don’t know the plan, so I’m sure I’m not going to put myself […]»

Amazing turnaround

And I spent the evening from Saturday to Sunday there as major, with a good part of the Quebec embassy. Journalists were also present this morning, on a guided bike tour of the city of Copenhagen which lasted three hours. The commander-in-chief was certainly present at all these.

However, no one, including the mayor, seemed to say a word about his position the day before the third page, which is still the subject of abundant coverage from early Saturday evening. If it really contained errors, or if the statements were not accurate, it seems to me that we would have been in a hurry to try to correct the matter.

The Quebec mayor seems to be walking in sheep’s clothing as it relates to the third link. This situation is becoming more and more intolerable, all the more so because he actively defends the development and sustainability of transport, which involves public transport, cycling and walking. He also promotes it vigorously and convincingly, which is very likely, since his arrival in the Nordic countries on Thursday.

This week we wrote strongly to elected officials to initiate major travel shifts in cities. Bruno Marchand must give a definite account, and quickly, if he wants to present his ambitious and promising vision, which in Quebec, among the young, has something to inspire many. Quebec needs it badly.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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