The governments of Canada and Quebec are investing in the restoration of the Chemin de fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe



    NEW CARLISLE, QC, June 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the governments of Canada
and Quebec and the Chemin de fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe (CFMG), announced
an over $14 million investment to restore the CFMG between Rivière-du-Loup and
Matane, and between Mont-Joli and Matapédia. Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, Ms. Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Prime Minister of Quebec and
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Regions, on behalf of Ms. Julie Boulet,
Quebec Minister of Transport, and Mr. Marc Laliberté, President, Quebec
Railway Corporation, met for the announcement in New Carlisle.
    "Infrastructure projects such as this clearly demonstrate Canada's new
government's commitment to improving Canadians' quality of life and protecting
the environment," stated Minister Cannon. "This project is a perfect example
of partnership between the federal and provincial governments and railway
companies, to improve the rail network, thus improving citizens' safety and
quality of life."
    This important investment will improve the state of CFMG's track
operations in order to ensure a more efficient and competitive rail network
that is better integrated into the main rail network, especially in key
transport and trade corridors.
    "This investment will support economic development in Quebec and its
regions in order to promote interregional, interprovincial, and international
trade and commerce," said the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of
Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the
Regions of Quebec.
    "The restoration of shortline railway infrastructures in Quebec was one
of the priorities underlined in the Canada-Quebec agreement on cost-shared
investments for infrastructure improvements," said the Premier of Quebec,
Mr. Jean Charest. "In accordance with this agreement, the Government of Québec
will invest $3.9 million to support the CFMG restoration project. This
investment will strengthen the region's dynamic economy in a context of
sustainable development."
    CFMG's objective is to bring the track's bearing capacity up to North
American standards. Shippers, as well as CN, would like CFMG to improve its
infrastructure so that higher capacity railway cars can travel more
efficiently. This work will be carried out over 347 kilometres of track.
    "Thanks to these investments, we are consolidating our rail network,
which provides a viable alternative for passenger and freight transport, as
well as an interregional link that will help us face the future with greater
confidence," said Minister Normandeau.
    "In addition to improving safety and client service, our investment of
$4.8 million will enable CFMG to continue to be one of the key links in the
national transportation network. This work will ensure the sustainability of
this important transportation infrastructure," said Mr. Laliberté.
    The CFMG, which is owned by the Quebec Railway Corporation, enables
businesses on the Gaspé Peninsula and in Eastern Quebec to access North
American and overseas markets at a competitive cost. It links various parts of
eastern Quebec and the north shore of the St. Lawrence River with the south
shore via the COGEMA rail ferry, and links eastern Quebec with New Brunswick,
where the line connects to the New Brunswick East Coast Railway Company Inc.
    Shortline railways service regional railways and constitute an essential
element of north-south commercial trade for Quebec businesses. They operate
over 38 per cent of Quebec's railway network, which accounts for over
2,300 kilometres of track. In Quebec, over 80 per cent of the products
transported by shortline railways are shipped to a final destination in the
United States. These regional railways transport mainly wood, paper, pulp,
particle board, mineral ore, and aluminium. Shortline railways thus play an
essential role in Quebec's economy.
    The Government of Canada will contribute over $5.8 million to this
project under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. This fund supports
projects of major national and regional significance in areas that are vital
to sustaining economic growth and supporting an enhanced quality of life for
Canadians.
    Budget 2007 outlines a long-term infrastructure plan that will provide an
historic $33 billion over seven years to support a growing economy, a healthy
environment and prosperous communities. The plan will encourage action by all
levels of government on things that matter most to Canadians, including clean
drinking water, efficient public transit, road conditions and innovative
sources of green energy.




For further information:

For further information: Julie Guimond, Communications, Transport
Canada, (613) 993-0055; Pierre Fallu, President and CEO, Société de promotion
de l'industrie ferroviaire, (514) 287-1935; Sources: Hugo D'Amours, Press
Secretary, Cabinet of the Premier of Quebec, (418) 643-6980; Natalie Sarafian,
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, (613) 991-0700; Jonathan Trudeau, Press Secretary, Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Regions, (418)
691-2050

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