The Islanders are demanding the government a “corridor of opportunity” to maximize the number of tourists for the summer period.
June 4, 2020 17h18
Îles-de-la-Madeleine: “Corridor passage” called up to the ferry Mouse
A few stops in New Brunswick to eat, put gas in the vehicle, maybe sleep a night. And the right to ride on the roads of the Île-du-Prince-Édouard. This is just what the Islanders are asking for the tourists to quebec are able to access the ferry, and Mouse and go to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, this summer. The roads of the Île-du-Prince-Édouard are still closed to outside visitors, while the New Brunswick agrees to open his / her own.
“We received, last year, 70 000 tourists. We had set up, for health reasons, this year, a ceiling of 35 000 visitors. So for less than half the visitors this year. The expectations that one has of today’s date are of the order of 19 000 visitors. And it continues to decline as long as the government has not indicated its intention to settle the dispute with the neighboring provinces,” said the mla for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau, Thursday.
The elected the Parti québécois considers that the case is not of great complexity, and that the prime minister François Legault has no need to put a little of his own to deal with the problem. For the moment, at Quebec, this folder resides in the hands of Sonia LeBel, the minister of Justice, but also the minister in charge of Relations canada.
“This is not the negotiation of an international agreement on commercial rights! It is strictly based on the good faith to give a permission to drive on the highway from point A to point B,” explains Arseneau.
“Île-du-Prince-Édouard, it takes 1 h 50 minutes to cross. There is no reason for it to stop, if this is not allowed to stop. Why is it that we could not transit through the island? The problem, it is resolved de facto if you were to ask the island permission to pass on its roads to get to the Mouse port.
“In New Brunswick, roughly, it is the transit, a few stops for refueling for gasoline, for food and a bed. It is already pretty close to the system for people who work in the supply chain, the truck drivers can already do this. It adds a circulation of a few thousand cars for the summer,” claimed the member of parliament for the Islands.
“We do mount the folder at the top level and really put in place concrete solutions that will go through restrictions to the stops, but a corridor of passage that is marked. I think we can get there in a few hours at the most.”
The other two first ministers of the provinces, Blaine Higgs (N.-B.) and Dennis King (Î.-P.-E.), were open to discussions. Thursday, in Fredericton, Mr. Higgs said he agreed with the principle. It remains to convince Mr. King, on the side of Charlottetown.
The option of Gaspé ruled out
The ferry takes five hours to make the trip between Souris (Î.-P.-E.) and Cap-aux-Meules (QC). A plan of a temporary departure from Gaspé has been set aside, because with the area of the gulf in speed limited because of the attendance of a whale, the journey would have taken 12 hours.
“Public Health has estimated that 35 000 visitors, we can continue to develop economically and not close in on ourselves and cower in a small ball for the next two years. This is what we are trying to avoid, ” said Mr. Arseneau.
“There are more than one-quarter of the active population [of the Islands] which earns its income from tourism. There, the question that arises is : the $ 94 million of revenue [in tourism] that one has the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, if they escape us, what are the plans for compensation that will allow these thousands of families to get through the year? We speak of 1750 individuals who work in the field, 400 companies, which have operating costs to cover and that, currently, have a prospect of zero income for the next year. The tourist season lasts two months.
“The will of the people, of the workers in the tourist industry and of the entrepreneurs of the companies, it is to get the best out of a tourist season that is going to be catastrophic, but to draw its pin from the play. And the compensation will come then. There, currently, we are not talking about compensation strictly. There is talk of being able to work, and then check the gap. Me, I don’t want that it turns to compensation without being put into action,” says the member of the parti québecois.