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Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:keTsi nahò:ten kahiatónnion a'arákonEnsaié:nawaseOnhkharéhson Aionkhihsnoé:nen
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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

Norton advises Minister of Transport to get facts straight regarding Mercier Bridge


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to inform the community that it is unimpressed with comments made by Quebec’s Minister of Transport, Laurent Lessard, in relation to repair works that took place earlier this week on the Mercier Bridge.

The minister made his comments following work carried out by the Mohawk Bridge Consortium to repair a damaged slab. The emergency work was expected to end by 5am Wednesday morning but, according to the contractor, it was determined that the damage was more extensive than originally estimated by the Ministère des transports (MTQ) engineers and took an additional 90 minutes. In such cases, safety is always the first priority.

“The minister was irresponsible for making such ignorant comments regarding the repair work,” said Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. “Without having all the facts in hand, he found it easier to attack a Kahnawà:ke entity that has consistently completed its work on time – or ahead of schedule – for the past several years. By placing blame and making threats, such as imposing penalties or replacing the contractor, the minister is playing politics instead of dealing with the realities of emergency works.”

“It appears that Mr. Lessard would rather take shots at the Mohawks than thank the contractor for taking an hour and a half extra to make sure the job was done correctly and safely,” he continued. “It’s not the first time that emergency work has taken longer than expected here or anywhere else but to make such irresponsible comments is both troubling and unacceptable for someone in his position.”

Ietsénhaienhs Rhonda Kirby, who holds the Quebec/Kahnawà:ke Relations portfolio, will be placing a call to the Minister to express the MCK’s serious misgivings.

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