Some time next year, residents of Park Extension will be seeing some of the results of billions of dollars in infrastructure renewal money the federal government is spending all over the country, with $3.6 million of it going towards rehabilitating the Querbes Avenue overpass.
The overpass, which connects Querbes Avenue in Park Extension to the Marché Central on the other side of Autoroute 40 and also carries CP rail traffic, is going to be repaired thanks to a $365 million program announced in September by the federal and provincial governments.
Support for the economy
“The repair of the Querbes overpass will contribute greatly to improve user safety in addition to substantially improving the functionality of this road axis,” Laurier-Dorion Liberal MNA Gerry Sklavouno said while making the announcement during a recent press conference.
“This is a tangible example of the efforts we have made to support the economy, because these investments will generate direct and indirect economic spinoffs, particularly in jobs for Acadie riding, while improving our citizens’ quality of life,” added Christine St-Pierre, the Quebec Liberal Minister for Culture, Communications and the Status of Women.
Starts next year
Funded in part by the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund under an agreement between Canada and Quebec, the work, whose cost is being shared equally by Canada and the province, is scheduled to begin in 2010 and should be completed before the end of March 2011. The agreement between the federal and provincial governments funds infrastructure projects jointly, while stimulating the economy and creating jobs at the same time.
“I think it’s important to understand that these provincial investments which are made for infrastructure do have a local component,” Sklavounos added, while also noting that the area where the overpass is located has a lot of traffic. “What’s important to understand is that we’re talking about 35 jobs and that’s what we mean by infrastucture stimulus program. We are doing this now to stimulate the creation of employment and that is why we are so proud.
Fighting the slowdown
“You know at this particular period of time where there’s economic slowdown and we’re fighting to come out of an economic slowdown around the world, our government along with the federal government have decided that making an investment in infrastructure brings people to work, maintains jobs. So just this project alone results in jobs maintaining or creating this project. People are going to be working on this. There’s also all kinds of runoff investments from this. All kinds of other jobs that will be created.
“And, of course, every time we renew or repair any kind of infrastructure, it’s an added value to our society,” said Sklavounos. “It attracts business, it attracts additional investment. And we’re talking about the Marché Central which is a commercial area, that is situated in Acadie but which serves the residents of Laurier-Dorion who go across. There are commercial retail stores, there’s a cinema, there are restaurants, and there’s a lot of merchandise being transported along Querbes which goes to the Marché Central. There’s also fruit and vegetable storage areas in that part of Marché Central. So this is an investment in infrastructure, an investment in jobs, and an investment in Quebec society in general.”
Sklavounos said the overall relationship between smaller merchants in Park Extension and the larger ones to be found at the Marché Central is complementary, since some businesses here depend for some of their supplies on wholesalers at the Marché, and retailers here and there carry different kinds of merchandise.
“A lot of those big vegetable and fruit warehouses and the warehouses where our local selling points get their fruit and vegetables from,” he said. “These are local distribution places. As for the commercial retail stores, yes some of our people here will go over to the Marché Central to shop. You’ll notice, though, that the kinds of articles sold there are not necessarily the same. I think there is a pleasant relationship between our boutiques here in Park Extension and the stores in Marché Central.”