A government statement containing false information caused false happiness among three municipalities who believed they had received subsidies from the Department of Transport. However, they don’t get a dime in the end and have to wait for the next round.
Last Monday, the local MP’s office sent a press release to the media entitled: Amélie Dionne announces more than $3.3 million for riding Rivière-du-Loup – Témiscouata (including Les Basques).
So, in the publication we could read that the communes of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges ($854,493), Sainte-Françoise ($1,783,129), Saint-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup ($515,959) and Cacouna ($231,656) received grants for the improvement and maintenance of the road network.
However, on Thursday, three days later, the media received an erratum that only the municipality of Sainte-Françoise in Les Basques would ultimately receive a sum of almost $1.8 million.
The mayors of the three other communities joined on Tuesday evening to tell them the bad news.
Photo provided by Josée Ouellet
The mayor of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Jean-Marie Dugas, admits that this false alarm “breaks the heart” as the municipality has been waiting for this subsidy for more than three years.
His general manager even congratulated him when the news broke in the regional media. “On Tuesday, the CEO called me and said, ‘You’re a secretive person, you didn’t tell us that we received the grant,'” says Mr. Dugas. I told him that I didn’t know but that I was very happy to finally get the amount he wanted. »
He adds that the small community will need to spend about $400,000 to temporarily repair potholes on this now dangerous road. With the government subsidy, he could have completely renewed the asphalt section.
“It’s a nice mess”
The same speech for the mayor of Saint-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup, Josée Ouellet, who explained that the former mayor of the commune had called her to congratulate her, since the grant had been awaited for several years.
“It’s a beautiful mess and it’s a shame for the citizens of Lake Saint-François, who saw the news and were very happy,” she admits.
In the office of Minister Geneviève Guilbault, it was recognized that it was a handling error, which was compared to a “copy and paste” manoeuvre. We have made it clear that MP Amélie Dionne had nothing to do with the Department of Transport’s error.
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