[VIDÉO] An assembly on the tram skids

A consultation meeting on the tramway went completely wrong Thursday evening at Sainte-Foy town hall. A citizen was expelled from the room by the police, anti-tram activists shouted their displeasure loudly and the session had to be interrupted for 15 minutes to calm things down.

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About sixty citizens – the vast majority opposed to the tramway – showed up at the session devoted to draft by-law 1349.

This text allows the City of Quebec to lighten the regulatory process along the 19.3 km route to “plan in a detailed and unified way the infrastructures necessary for the tramway”.

Leading the protest, Anne Guérette, former municipal councilor and ex-head of Démocratie Québec, took the microphone from the start of the session, arguing that the public notice published for Thursday’s session did not provide the long presentation required by the project office.

“This presentation is about the design of the tramway. However, this is not at all the purpose of by-law 1349. People have come to talk about the by-law which can lead to expropriations, replacement of stairs and balconies. But we try to talk to them about the tramway tapestry and give them as little time as possible to intervene, ”she thundered.

Very applauded by a supercharged room, she regretted that the City “appropriated all the powers and ignored all the rules established to do the project as quickly as possible”.

middle finger

Tempers quickly flared. Screams were heard. In the most total cacophony, some called for a referendum on the megaproject.

Others shouted that it was necessary to protect the trees that we intend to “massacre” along the route.

Many called the draft regulations a “gag” intended to silence the population.

Maude Mercier Larouche, municipal councilor responsible for the tramway, asked the police to evict a particularly agitated citizen, claiming that he had just given her the middle finger. The man was taken out by three law enforcement officers.

A compromise

After a short interruption, a compromise was found. The presentation of the project office was shortened and the questions of the citizens had to relate exclusively to the regulation.

The first responder was Claude Racine, a resident of René-Lévesque Boulevard who received “a limited notice of expropriation”.

Living in a century-old house, he lamented that a staircase and a century-old elm located on his land were demolished to allow the passage of the tramway.

“The consequences of the tramway on our lives are major. You are doing violence to my health. You can’t imagine all the havoc you are doing, ”he said, particularly moved.

During the evening, no response on specific cases was provided. On the merits, Ms. Mercier Larouche reiterated that the purpose of the settlement was to avoid delays and additional costs.

The consultation ended around 10 p.m. The end was as stormy as the beginning.