Quebec gov't promises $150K to keep bus service for coastal Cree communities
$150K in funding committed to keep link between communities and Val d'Or online for 1 more year
The Quebec government is promising $150,000 in funding to keep a bus link in Northern Quebec on the road, between several Cree communities and the hub of Val d'Or.
The provincial deputies for Abitibi-Est and Ungava, Guy Bourgeois and Jean Boucher, made the announcement Monday on behalf of the Minister of Transport, André Fortin.
"This announcement confirms our commitment to offer public transport for the whole of the province of Quebec," said Transport Minister André Fortin in a press release announcing Les Autobus Maheux ltée service will continue for at least another year.
The money will allow a twice a week, return service between the Quebec Cree communities of Chisasibi, Wemindji, Eastmain, Nemaska and Waskaganish. The route will also include stops in the non-Indigenous communities of Matagami and Amos and Val d'Or.
The service, 15 years in the making, was launched in 2016.
Geoffrey Kelley, Quebec Native Affairs Minister, says the bus link gives Indigenous communities much needed access to urban centres, bringing economic benefits for the whole region.
"Improving bus service will also bring cities and communities closer together," said Kelley in a press release. "Providing new opportunities for exchange and meetings."
The service is also supported by the Chisasibi Business and Development Group. Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum says it's an important link for Cree people.
"We all win when we work together to achieve better solutions for everyone," said Bosum.
"This partnership between Les Autobus Maheux and Chisasibi Business and Development is an encouraging example of the potential of economic diversity that exists in our regions."