Photo: Alexander Shields The Duty
The government of Quebec will become the owner of the port of Cacouna, which had been at the heart of the saga’s oil pipeline project Energy East.
The government of Quebec has agreed with the federal government to take responsibility for the management of four ports located on the St. Lawrence river, but in return for an envelope of $ 163 million. Ottawa is looking to divest itself of 25 port facilities located in Quebec.
By march 2020, the ports of Matane, Gaspé and Rimouski will be transferred to the government of Quebec. The province will also become the owner of the port of Cacouna, which had been at the heart of the saga’s oil pipeline project Energy East. In 2014, TransCanada had also expressed its interest to buy this port, located very close to a critical habitat for the belugas of the St. Lawrence.
Since the four ports are in need of repairs or maintenance, the federal government shall provide to Québec a sum of 163 million, of which $ 148,8 million ” to support the future costs of operation and maintenance of the ports “.
According to what has been emphasized by the prime minister Philippe Couillard Wednesday, these acquisitions are part of the government’s desire to develop the” enormous potential ” of the Saint-Laurent, in the framework of the maritime Strategy. “In taking possession of these strategic assets that are our commercial ports, we equip Québec with a new leverage,” -he stressed.
In all four cases, the government Couillard has also granted, since 2016, grants of $ 125,000 in order to assess the potential for development of areas with industrial-port.
Other ports of Quebec are expected to change hands over the next few years. All in all, the federal government seeks to divest itself of 25 port facilities in Quebec. These are situated mainly in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and Côte-Nord.
Several are a major element of the regional economy. In some cases, these facilities are in addition to the unique link between the regions and the rest of Quebec. This is the case of the six-port infrastructure located on the Lower North Shore and who are simply not connected to the québec road network.
Most of these facilities are in need of restoration work. The bill could reach several tens of millions of dollars.