Mrs. Lise Bourgault (Argenteuil-Papineau):
Madam Speaker, I do not know if you ever cross Perley bridge between Hawkesbuiy and Grenville to go to your riding. Many people and members of this House use this bridge occasionally. I can tell you that the bridge needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
In April 1992, I asked the Minister of Public Works a question, but in his absence, the Minister of Supply and Services answered me to the effect that discussions concerning work on this bridge, which involves the governments of Ontario and Quebec and of course the federal government, were about to conclude. In June 1988, four years ago, the then minister, Hon. Stewart Mclnnis, said that the bridge would reach the end of its useful life around 1992. Imagine the anxiety of my constituents who are wondering whether the bridge will be closed, whether it is safe and so on.
Since then, we have worked very hard. Plans and a prior environmental review show beyond any doubt that the public need have no concern for environmental safety and that a new bridge could be built along the present route.
On May 1, 1992, not so long ago, the minister wrote to me to say that with the change of government in Ontario, in particular, the new deputy ministers had to meet to ratify an agreement in principle on cost sharing, project management and the start date so that our constituents on both sides of the river, in Hawkesbury and in Grenville, could know what to expect. It is well-known that building a new bridge of this kind involves many factors. Many business people who had shown interest in the past in coming to spend or invest in our region have put that on hold pending developments on the Perley bridge.
I hope that the minister's parliamentary secretary will be able this evening to give us specific dates on when this work will begin and everything surrounding the building of this new bridge. In closing, I would like to add that huge amounts are being spent to maintain the bridge and keep it open to traffic. In spite of that, the people who use it are always afraid of going down with it one day. This is practically impossible, because the federal gov-
September 14, 1992
eminent, which is a good government, ensures every day that this bridge is completely safe for users.
So I eagerly await the response from my colleague, the parliamentary secretary.
Topic: PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic: PERLEY BRIDGE