New La Pêche highway signage confuses residents, visitors
People looking for Wakefield, Masham perplexed by signs for the entire municipality
People living in and visiting villages in the municipality of La Pêche have been confused by new signage along a recently opened extension of Autoroute 5.
Heading north along the new $175-million stretch of highway from Ottawa, there are no longer any signs for the communities of Wakefield or Sainte-Cecile-de-Masham.
Instead, the new signs advertise two exits to La Pêche.
La Pêche is the name of the municipality. Wakefield, Masham, Edelweiss and Rupert are all communities inside the municipality of La Pêche.
People looking for those communities are now having a tougher job of finding them.
"Wakefield is quite a happening place and people need to know that it's on that exit," said Julien Cartwright, who works at a restaurant in Wakefield. "Countless customers, for the first week every day, most people were ... just completely lost and didn't know where they were. Some people were coming in asking if they were in Quebec or Ontario."
"It's kind of become the lost village, along with Masham," said Rob Moeler, who runs a business in Wakefield. "The thing I find even more ridiculous is there's a giant sign for Meech Creek, so they can name a creek but forget a whole village."
Mathieu Ravignat, the MP for the area, said the province should have consulted residents.
"The province just didn't do its research, didn't do its groundwork. It needs to do that ... to come up with signage that actually makes sense and promotes the economy," Ravignat said.
Stéphanie Vallée, the MNA for Gatineau, has not responded to requests for comment.