Highway 30: A question of political will
Montreal , March 11, 2004 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal joins its voice today to that of the South Shore business community to urge the governments of Quebec and Canada to complete Highway 30.
A metropolis must be able to develop, produce, and trade. If Montreal wishes to be resolutely metropolitan, its infrastructures must be so as well. But as long as Highway 30 exists only on the drawing board, the ring-road around the metropolitan region will be incomplete, with all the problems that entails particularly for the movement of goods on the island and on the outskirts of the city. Remember that Montreal is an exceptional case among North American metropolises in that it does not have a true ring-road, contributing greatly to traffic congestion and wear on its road network. Highway 30 is necessary, among other things, because it would facilitate access from the Maritime Provinces to both Quebec and Ontario while improving access to highways serving important markets in the eastern United States , declared Benoit Labonté, president of the Board of Trade.
The business community throughout the metropolitan region is unanimous regarding the need to quickly complete this project. Last year the provincial and federal governments assured us that they shared this point of view and had agreed on ways to proceed. The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement held its consultations and issued its recommendations. It appears clear to us that we have reached the point where it is unproductive to split hairs about the lay-out. For the Board of Trade, the time has come for the governments to demonstrate their political will to finally take action, added Labonté.
In addition to meeting major needs, the completion of Highway 30 presents an exceptional opportunity to create a significant public-private partnership in Quebec . Financing part of the construction and maintenance costs of such a road infrastructure with private capital should permit the accelerated completion of work, despite the limited financial resources available to the Quebec government. In the current context, the completion of Highway 30 in partnership with the private sector could set an important precedent for the various government authorities when developing future infrastructure projects.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of the Greater Montreal region and, as a contributing and responsible player, to promote the economic development of the urban area. Encompassing three specialized services ( Info entreprises , the Electronic Commerce Institute and World Trade Centre Montréal ) that serve merchants and businesses of all sizes throughout Quebec and Canada , the Board of Trade is Quebec 's leading private economic development organization.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015