CANADA: The Canadian government’s Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation Fund is to provide C$45·8m for the rehabilitation of a section of the provincially-owned railway to Gaspésie in Quebéc.
The section has been out of use since 2015 because of the poor condition of the infrastructure and geological issues including coastal erosion, which were exacerbated by a major storm in December 2016. VIA Rail passenger services on the route had been suspended in 2013 owing to the condition of the infrastructure
The funding announced on August 26 will be used to repair and reinforce 10 sections on the 127 km between Port-Daniel–Gascons and Gaspé, with some sections to be relocated to avoid ground movement erosion.
The government said the project would promote regional economic growth by facilitating the movement of goods, increase resilience against climate change and help to reduce the cost of recovering from such incidents.
‘Extreme weather is becoming more severe, frequent, damaging and expensive because of climate change’, said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine. ‘We are proud to support this work to restore this important rail link, which plays a key role in the socio-economic development of the Gaspésie. By investing in the infrastructure that protects our communities, businesses and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.’