Pilon pleased with logistics hub announcement but wants more info from government

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK Guy Pilon, President of the CLD de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, said he is pleased with the announcement from Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard that the province’s fi rst intermodal transportation will be located in the region, but is calling on the government to provide more details about the project.

The announcement made by Quebec Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard on June 29 that Vaudreuil-Soulanges will be the first region in the province that will have an intermodal transportation centre in Les Cèdres was welcomed by Guy Pilon, President of the Centre local de développement (CLD), but is calling on the provincial government to provide more information about the scope and cost of the project.

Pilon, who is also Mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, said the mayors of the 23 municipalities that comprise the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and other regional partners have been working on promoting the transportation hub project for a decade, but there is still no indication as to where the centre will be located.

“Yes, Vaudreuil-Soulanges will be the first place where there will be a transportation hub in Quebec, but we’ve been hearing about this for the past 10 years. We still have no idea when it will start,” Pilon told Your Local Journal during a telephone interview June 30. “Couillard’s announcement is a good first step, but what did he really announce? Nothing. We need more information. The only good news is that Couillard said the first one will be built in our region. When the Premier says something like that officially, he cannot go back on it,” said Pilon.

There was a hint of skepticism in Pilon’s comments regarding the announcement because no information was provided about when the project will begin, its cost, who will lead it, and whether green areas will be rezoned for construction. Pilon said it’s possible the transportation hub could be located on land next to the Canadian Pacific (CP) rail line, but said there have been no discussions yet.

“What I’m worried about is whether the government will have the willingness to rezone the required green spaces,” said Pilon. “Maybe I seem pessimistic but the fact is we’re still waiting for the completion of Highway 20, we waited over 30 years for the completion of Highway 30, and we’re still waiting for our hospital. The government had the power to call the shots for the logistics hub many years ago. I’m going to give them all the chances in the world to make it happen, but we still have a lot of questions,” said Pilon.

MRC Communications Director Simon Richard said the transportation hub is expected to create thousands of jobs in the region when it’s built, but added no additional information has been forthcoming since Couillard’s announcement especially concerning its eventual location.

“Vaudreuil-Soulanges is located in a commercial corridor where 80 per cent of all merchandise travels through the region,” said Richard. “We have all the inconvenience from all this transportation without any economic benefit. By creating a logistics hub, we’re going to be able to make money as a result of our geographic position.

The MRC wants this project to become a reality and we’re waiting for the government to make a decision where it will be located,” Richard added.

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