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The modernization of a poorly received rest stop in Centre-du-Québec

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar22,2024

The modernization of a poorly received roadside rest stop in Centre-du-Québec

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This stop was built in 1970.

  • Jean-François Dumas (View profile)Jean-François Dumas

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The owner of a private service area in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, in Center-du-Québec, claims that the Ministry of Transport is preparing to spend millions of dollars unnecessarily and accuses her of making unfair competition. Quebec will soon begin the modernization of the Sainte-Anne-du-Sault rest stop, located four kilometers from its own on the A-20.

We are two minutes [by road], and we are in the process of building another stop. We are going to have two stops on a four-kilometer stretch!, says businessman Samuel Baril.

According to him, the sums needed to repair the stop, which are estimated at $10 million, should instead be allocated to underserved regions. He also affirms that the study commissioned by the Ministry of Transport does not provide solid arguments to justify the project.

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This is what the new stopover could look like.

This study does not prove anywhere that there is a need for a second rest stop less than four kilometers away, he believes.

He also brandishes a report in which the Auditor General questions the construction of a service area near an area already existing.

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If the Ministry of Transport believes that there is a need for a rest stop in a location, it must prove its needs, and even more so justify them if there are private services already accessible nearby.

A quote from Samuel Baril, owner of Porte de l'Érable

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The owner of this service area is opposed to the renovation of a roadside rest stop by the Ministry of Transport.

The Ministry of Transport, for its part, refutes the allegations of unfair competition and considers that the project to repair the Sainte-Anne-du-Sault road stop is legitimate.

There are no catering offers. Someone, for example, who wants to consume food, cannot do so inside our facilities. He will have to go to the various local businesses which are there to offer this type of service. There is also no gas service that will be offered at this location. The only service that we will add, and which did not exist before, are two charging stations for electric cars, says the spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Nicolas Vigneault.

The ministry also mentions the safety aspect to justify the repair of the stop erected in 1970. This project is included in its provincial modernization plan.

Every hour that users spend on the road, in general, we must offer them the possibility of being able to stop, refresh themselves, example, or take a little rest. It's a matter of road safety, and that's how the plan was made!

A quote from Nicolas Vigneault, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

This is also what Luc Rossignol also believes, a trucker encountered by Radio-Canada on Thursday, according to whom this renovation will fill a real need. We are increasingly lacking parking, he stressed.

Despite criticism, the ministry confirms that repair work will begin in the coming months.

  • Jean-François Dumas (View profile)Jean- François DumasFollow
Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar 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 1-800-268-7116

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