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MONTREAL, Que. — Quebec’s Transport Ministry is looking for ways to better link the Island of Montreal with the suburban South Shore, and it’s asking the public for input.

A provincial government commission has a year to examine every transport option to span the St. Lawrence River, including possibly a new bridge. Public consultations start in June and open hearings will start in the fall.

The province says the process is being undertaken to help keep area residents on side.

“You cannot, in today’s age, realize projects of such importance which affect people in their daily lives without broad public support,” says Roger Nicolet, who heads the commission.

Nicolet says new toll routes are a distinct possibility. “Priorities are not for public money to be spent on such infrastructure,” he says. “Hence the decision to envisage going to private financing, which means a toll bridge or toll roads.”

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