Even if skiers have been back on the slopes of Mont-Sainte-Anne for a week, only one scenario seems to have consensus or almost for the next few months, the departure of the current manager RCR.
• Also read: Mont-Sainte-Anne: The population demands a change
While activities on the mountain have resumed, the situation has not changed and the current season is now partially strained.
The station will not have a ski lift from the valley to the top for an indefinite period.
This problem has existed almost continuously since a gondola suddenly came to a standstill in February 2020, in which around twenty people were injured.
A $100 million investment plan appeared to be under consideration before a nacelle collapsed on December 10, on condition that the Quebec government contribute 50%.
Minister Fitzgibbon has been negotiating for months but Premier Legault’s criticism of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) ahead of Christmas seems to have ruled that out. What do the next few months hold in store for this dossier?
Replacing at least four ski lifts and upgrading several chalets is not possible in one year.
In addition, with the current state of infrastructure, the complete closure of the mountain looms like a sword of Damocles.
An economic catastrophe
For the new leader of the PLQ and leader of the official opposition, this isn’t the first season that has taken a serious toll.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
Head of QLP
“The CAQ does not take its lead. It’s an ongoing economic catastrophe. We need more transparency and a clear line of conduct is needed. The troubles do not date from last December 10th and the CAQ is in its fifth year in power. It’s an economic engine and money is being lost in the region because of the lack of results. People have had enough,” explains Marc Tanguay, himself a former citizen of Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges for about ten years.
One street even bears his last name in honor of his parents.
“Mont-Sainte-Anne remains a point of pride for me,” adds Mr. Tanguay, aware that the last few tourists risk fleeing because of the bad press.
According to former Olympian Dominick Gauthier, RCR has proven its inability to properly tackle the mountain.
“We need a short-term solution to get things rolling. With 100 million dollars you order two or three ski lifts and build a new chalet. Everyone seems to agree that it takes more than that. Is it possible without the state? It is clear that no one can do worse than the one who is there now. That has to change, we won’t get any further with it,” says the skier, who spent part of his family holidays on Mont-Sainte-Anne despite the mountain closure.
“Plan A is that Pierre Fitzgibbon reaches an agreement with RCR, Plan B is that the government tells RCR that there will be no subsidy a penny,” said the President of the Friends of Mont-Sainte-Anne, Yvon Charest.
In his opinion, the third scenario would be increasing threats of expropriation. “The prime minister’s office can raise the tone with RCR without making a public statement,” he says.
“You have to have a long-term vision. I can understand some traders’ concerns, but they will benefit later. We come to a crossroads. The frequency of accidents is not insignificant,” concludes founder Alex Harvey.
Some possible scenarios at Mont-Sainte-Anne
- Special Law of the Government of Quebec Expropriating the Manager
- Agreement between the Government of Quebec and the current RCR manager for a partnership investment plan
- RCR decides to sell its assets to another group interested in managing the ski mountain
- Status quo with current manager
- RCR stops skiing and tries to sell land*
(*An arbitrator must soon decide to settle the sale of the property)
- NB Quebec owns the mountain, but a lease has been signed with RCR until 2093
►Since the opening of the station on January 8th, the Schulhang ski lift has been closed due to another equipment defect.
Do you have any information about this story that you would like to share with us?
Do you have a scoop that might be of interest to our readers?