Sixth link: the Bourbonnais family refuses to be placed on the siding
Relatively silent since the debate on the sixth link in eastern Gatineau returned to the forefront of the news, this fall, the Bourbonnais family who operate the Masson-Cumberland ferry gives life and refuses to be placed on the siding as major work begins that will redefine how to get around the region for the next few decades.
C ‘is the voice of its consultant and former Minister responsible for the region, Norman MacMillan, the company Ferries Bourbonnais decided to express his surprise at the absence of the link it operates for years in the new NCC’s call for tenders for the development of an integrated plan for interprovincial and transportation links in the federal capital region.
“We didn’t want to get too involved in politics and the debate between Steven MacKinnon and Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin in this matter this fall, we didn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on anyone, but we expected that the route of the ferry to Masson is one of the elements to be studied, said Mr. MacMillan to the Law. We see that it is still not there. An analysis of this route should not be missed. The Bourbonnais family requests it. ”
More than 800,000 vehicles cross from one bank to the other thanks to the Bourbonnais family ferries each year.
Mr. MacMillan believes that a scientific opinion on the route used by the Bourbonnais is necessary in the context of the debate on the sixth bridge.
“We must at least analyze it and if the studies say that it is not a good idea, we will live with it without problem, but let’s do the analysis first before it is too late” says MacMillan.
The idea of transforming the Bourbonnais family ferry service into a bridge is not new. It had been raised in the late 1990s to come back in force in 2003.
At the time, businessman Maurice Bourbonnais said he was ready to invest $ 35 million to build a toll bridge, but the then-deputy for Glengarry-Prescott-Russel, Jean-Marc Lalonde, opposed such a project because of the congestion it would cause on route 174.
Political meetings had nevertheless multiplied in the months and years that followed, notably with the NCC, as well as with the mayors of Gatineau and Ottawa.
Former federal Minister of Transport and Pontiac MP Lawrence Cannon even called the project an “extremely interesting prospect” in 2007. He promised to study the project.
The idea fell into oblivion until last fall, however, when the debate on the sixth bridge returned to the news.
“The same project could be part of the study,” insists Mr. MacMillan. The Bourbonnais family builds the bridge and operates it for 30 or 35 years and then hands it over to the federal government, or the government builds its own bridge and pays the Bourbonnais family, who would cease its ferry service there. These are things that remain to be determined, but above all, the federal government must analyze the possibility of using this route. Masson is east of Gatineau. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be part of the studies. “