Natashquan, May 30, 2011 – Premier Jean Charest, the Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, Norman MacMillan, and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, today are pleased to announce an additional $122 million investment, allocated under the Plan Nord to continue the extension of Route 138 between Kégaska and Vieux-Fort.
In 2006, the Gouvernement du Québec signed a framework agreement with the group of mayors and Innu communities of the Basse-Côte-Nord, providing for a $100 million investment over 10 years to interconnect the localities between Kegaska and Vieux-Fort. The project’s management had been entrusted to Corporation Pakatan Meskanau de la Grande Séduction, a company formed by the group.
This $122 million investment over five years is added to the amounts allocated under the framework agreement, and has the objective of continuing to link all the localities in the sector to the Québec road network. Ultimately, over $250 million will be invested on the Basse-Côte-Nord.
“Access to the territory is one of the main challenges we must meet under the Plan Nord. The new investment we are announcing today for the extension of Route 138 will allow us to complete an additional stage in our commitment to link the communities of the Basse-Côte-Nord to the Québec road network. In addition, the economic activity that will result from this investment will contribute to improve the quality of life of many families in the community, who will be called on to work actively on the performance of this project,” the Premier declared.
The new investments will be made in accordance with the priorities established by Corporation Pakatan Meskanau de la Grande Séduction in September 2010. Thus, the amounts invested will allow development of three sections:
With the goal of increasing the employability of the Aboriginal communities, the sections from Kégaska to La Romaine and the sections west of Pakuashipi, will be constructed in “chantier-école” training project mode in partnership with the Ministère des Transports and the local communities, as was the case for the section between Natashquan and Kégaska. Corporation Pakatan Meskanau will ensure management of the section between Tête-à-la-Baleine and La Tabatière.
“The agreement between the Ministère des Transports and the Conseil des Montagnais de Natashquan made it possible for 19 Aboriginals from the community to obtain their certificates of competence from the Commission de la construction du Québec. I am convinced that the two new “chantier-école” training projects will be just as successful, for the benefit of our Aboriginal youth and the Innu communities of the Basse-Côte-Nord,” Mr. Kelley affirmed.
The extension work between Kegaska and Natashquan is continuing in parallel, and the opening of the road as far as Kégaska is scheduled for 2013. At the end of the Plan Nord’s first five-year plan, nearly 100 km of road will be completed on the Basse-Côte-Nord. Thus, in 2016, road users wishing to travel on the Basse-Côte-Nord will be able to reach La Romaine. The localities between Tête-à-la-Baleine and La Tabatière will also be interconnected, facilitating exchanges and travel among the communities.
Other mandates will also be assigned soon by the Ministère des Transports for the development of the preliminary route between La Romaine and Tête-à-la-Baleine and between St-Augustin and Vieux-Fort. These routes require an $11 million investment.
“Route 138 is an essential road link for the citizens of the Basse-Côte-Nord. Thanks to the performance of this major work, they will be able to benefit from a quality of life improved by the vast economic and social development possibilities the territory will offer. The road will reach Kégaska and 2013 and La Romaine within 5 years: I am very proud of this major progress,” Mr. MacMillan declared.
Online as of: May 30, 2011