Safe and secure access to transportation infrastructures in Quebec and the rest of Canada is of vital importance to coastal communities and businesses. Transport Canada conducts regular maintenance and annual inspections to ensure the sustainability of its infrastructure and the safety of activities.
The last detailed inspection of the fishers’ wharf at the Port of Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec, carried out in November 2020, confirmed a significant deterioration of the wharf’s concrete structure in certain areas, reducing the capacity of the wharf to support heavy loads. As soon as Transport Canada was informed in February 2021, access restrictions were put in place at the fishers’ wharf to ensure the safety of Magdalen Islanders and all users.
Fishing season will not be compromised by these access restrictions. Transport Canada is working with the Port of Cap-aux-Meules stakeholders, tenants, occupants and affected users to find solutions to limit the impact on activities.
Areas have been identified to allow fishers to safely moor their boats at the wharf and to unload their catch of seafood. Some of the equipment and facilities required for unloading, belonging to La Renaissance and Fruits de Mer Madeleine, will be relocated as soon as possible, and Transport Canada will reimburse the costs incurred to them.
The department had to close seven of the 58 available bollards at the port. Steps have already been taken to add a new bollard. In addition, we are currently evaluating options to add two more replacement bollards. Fishers will also be able to dock at the tanker, commercial and ferry wharves, when they become available.
Cooperation and goodwill among users will be essential for the smooth running of the activities. Transport Canada takes the economic needs of the Magdalen Islands community seriously, understands the impact the restrictions will have on Magdalen Islanders, and is actively working to find solutions to limit the inconvenience caused by the situation.