The modernization of rue Notre-Dame requires a metropolitan perspective Montreal, January 31, 2002 - At the conclusion of hearings before the Bureau d'audiences publiques en environnement (BAPE) concerning the Notre-Dame urban freeway, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal acknowledges the scope of the work accomplished by a large number of economic, social, and public sector stakeholders presenting interesting, though diverging, options and viewpoints. The Board of Trade nevertheless wishes to stress the need to take into account other transportation projects in the metropolitan area and their potential effects on the use of the Notre-Dame thoroughfare. With this in mind, and in the wake of the recent cabinet shuffle, the Board of Trade salutes the conciliatory attitude of the new Transport Minister, Serge Ménard.
It is clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable and that a balanced solution must be found. Economic, social, and environmental factors must be taken into consideration, given the magnitude of the project and its undeniable long-term impact on the city's entire road infrastructure. The Board of Trade therefore recommends that discussions continue among the various groups particularly the Quebec Ministère des Transports, the City of Montreal, and local players, to ensure that the project is based on a more solid consensus than currently exists.
The Quebec government should bear in mind the concerns of the various groups to be sure the project meets the following needs:
- to ensure the continuity of Montreal Port Authority activities, so that we may continue to benefit from the major economic role it plays;
- to ensure the safe, efficient circulation of goods and people to promote the development of economic activity in the east end of Montreal;
- to ensure not only a better quality of life for those living near rue Notre-Dame but also the revitalization and sustainable development of the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Sainte-Marie, and Mercier districts, while protecting their residential character;
- to ensure public transit - for both east-end residents and those outside the city wishing to use the modernized thoroughfare to reach downtown - providing an adequate alternative to the use of private cars.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.