(Quebec) The dust has clearly not fallen between the Mayor of Québec City, Régis Labeaume, and the lawyer Luc Paradis, promoter of a new management model for the Quebec bridge. The two men did not manage to hide the tension and discomfort at a joint press conference on Monday.
“I have nothing to say,” said Mr. Labeaume press impromptu after an announcement on the Quebec Job Creation Awards. He was responding to the question of the Sun when he and one of the promoters of a model of management of the bridge met for the first time in the same forum since the unveiling of the Malette report.
“I do not have anything to say either,” added Luc Paradis after a silence indicating a malaise.
“We are not in a chicane or in dialogue. The mayor has his opinion and I have mine. We are here for the Job Creation Awards, I am not interested in talking about the Pont de Quebec, “added Mr. Paradis, one of the instigators of the Mallette report, with the Chambers of Commerce of Québec and Lévis , The firm Mallette and the accountant Mario Bédard.
The study, which was presented in March, recommended the creation of two not-for-profit organizations, including the Société de Pont de Québec, which would own the bridge and provide maintenance and painting for 15 to 20 years. A second body, the Société de la valorisation du pont, would be devoted to its promotion of tourism and heritage.
Mayor Labeaume welcomed these scenarios more than coldly, considering that the model “does not stand up”. The mayor who made the paint of the bridge one of those battles of the last years. At the time, he said he feared that these ideas from the working group would endanger “efforts to convince CN, the owner of the bridge who refused to repaint it, and Ottawa to” fix the problem. ”
On Monday, Mr. Labeaume also reiterated how irritated he was by not having been consulted on the conclusions of the Mallette report.
The group, again recalled Mr. Paradis, had planned to show the mayor before a press conference, but the news was released in Le Journal de Québec.
“We had never seen that before. In any case, I had never seen this project before, “said Régis Labeaume Monday, visibly annoyed.