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Mayor demands action

EDMUNDSTON, N.B. -- Edmundston's mayor is disappointed the Prime Minister refused to meet with local mayors to disc...

EDMUNDSTON, N.B. — Edmundston’s mayor is disappointed the Prime Minister refused to meet with local mayors to discuss completion of a four-lane Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec to New Brunswick.

“In an issue like this we’re not talking about infrastructure, we’re talking about human lives,” says Mayor Jacques Martin. “When we get to the point that there’s an insensitivity to this, it’s serious.”

Martin received a letter last week declining a request put forth by him and his Quebec counterparts in communities along Route 185 asking the Prime Minister for a meeting last month.

Since 1992, there have been 91 deaths in crashes along the two-lane Route 185. A Dec. 29 collision in Ville Dgelis, Que., near the New Brunswick border claimed the lives of eight people.

“If it’s not important to the Prime Minister, who is it important to?” the mayor asks. “Is it possible that a person can reach such a level of insensitivity on such an important issue? Is it possible? He at least could have given us a meeting or told us ‘I’ll be in your region on such a date, we’ll talk about it then.’ “

Route 185, the Trans-Canada between Rivire-du-Loup, Que., and the New Brunswick border near Edmundston, is the only Quebec portion of the national highway that is still two lanes. The mayors want the highway enlarged to four-lanes because of the fatal traffic accidents.

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