“The Anglican diocese of Quebec and the Roman Catholic diocese of Gaspé “are profoundly disturbed” at the lack of government support for the Matapédia-Gaspé rail line.
The rail line was purchased in 2007 by a cash-strapped co-operative of regional municipalities, la Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (SCFG). SCFG hopes to open discussion on financial support with Jean Charest, premier of Quebec, and Denis Lebel, federal minister of economic development. “We need $19 million over five years to bring this railway, which has been neglected for 30 years, up to speed,” said Francois Roussy, SFFG president, in a news release.
The importance of the rail line to the social and economic fabric of the region is incalculable, said the dioceses in a joint communiqué. Seniors and the ill use it to receive medical treatment in Rimouski and Montreal. Tourists travel it to visit the Gaspé and young people use it to go to and from colleges and universities. It also provides transport for regional businesses. Representatives of the two churches have agreed to work together to save the rail line. “