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An odor causes tourists to flee and city officials to worry

An unbearable stench has descended on Rimouski recently. Even though there have endured varying stenchy smells for years, residents say the odor is far worse this summer. Helene Gagné is the owner of Au soleil Couchant, a Motel and Resto-Bar in Pointe-au-Père, where the notorious smell is at its strongest.

She says her patio has remained empty because of the problem, a smell she describes as a mix of rotting algae and sewage. She says that a handful of tourists planning to stay at her motel have driven straight through town in an attempt to escape the odor.

Not everyone agrees on the source of the smell. We consulted Professor Emilien Pelletier, a marine eco-toxology expert based out of Rimouski.

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