The study conducted by the firm WSP (New window) suggests an annual increase of $631 million in GDP of the two regions. The mayor of Lévis, Gilles Lehouillier, is delighted.

He also praises the repercussions on the economy of the north shore. There are those who say that the tunnel is just for Lévis, but the GDP of the Capitale-Nationale will jump by 373 million dollars annually from 2032. And, it will increase by 258 million in Chaudière-Appalacheshe says.

Mayor Gilles Lehouillier at the press conference for the presentation of the study

Photo: Radio-Canada / Louise Boisvert

As a reference, the GDP Capitale-Nationale stood at $35.9 billion in 2016 and that of Chaudière-Appalaches at $16.2 billion, according to the 2018 Economic Portrait of Quebec Regions (New window), produced by the Quebec government. By comparing with the figures of the study, it is therefore an increase of approximately 1% of the GDP for the north shore and approximately 1.6% for the south shore, if the Québec-Lévis tunnel had entered into service in 2016.

These increases in GDP were mostly calculated on the basis of the anticipated productivity gain of workers, underlines the analyst of the study and economist of WSP, Ha Dao.

The firm hypothesizes that the third link will increase the productivity of workers in both regions by 10% from 2032 to 2061. This should translate into a productivity gain of $0.62 per hour per worker as early as 2032says Gilles Lehouillier, citing the study.

A single reference year

The study also reports social and economic benefits associated with the third link. WSP is based on the assumption that it will allow reduce the total distance traveled, as well as travel time on the entire road network of the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches regions.

However, this hypothesis could not be verified, in the absence of quantitative data at the regional level, according to the text of the study. Several benefits, such as improved work-family balance, potential reduction in road accidents and reduction in air pollution, are based at least partially on this assumption.

Moreover, these economic benefits were only calculated on the basis of data provided by the third link project office for the year 2036, only four years after the commissioning of the tunnel. We don’t have projections for years beyond 2036, we can’t calculate travel times after thatadmits Ha Dao.

It is therefore not possible to conclude from this study that the benefits in terms of travel time and fuel consumption will continue.

Creating jobs in the context of a labor shortage

The study mentions that the Quebec-Lévis tunnel will help create jobs in the greater Quebec City region. The firm claims the creation of 65,442 jobs for the construction of the tunnel and 6,889 jobs during the 30 years following commissioning.

This prospect of job creation in a context of labor shortage does not seem to put the mayor of Lévis down. Currently, because of traffic jams, we are not attractive for labor on either side of the river, so it will increase our attractiveness he believes.

Short guest list

During the press conference, the absence of representatives from the Capitale-Nationale region was noted. Neither the deputies of the ridings of Taschereau and Jean-Lesage, where the tunnel will end, nor the mayor of Quebec were present.

The prefect of the MRC de Bellechasse, Yvon Dumon, the deputy for Bellechasse, Stéphanie Lachance, and the mayor of Lévis, Gilles Lehouillier, during the press conference on the study of the economic impacts of the Québec-Lévis tunnel

Photo: Radio-Canada / Louise Boisvert

We only invited people with whom we have a pro-tunnel network. If these people want to join us and they are in favor of the tunnel, they are welcomelets know Gilles Lehouillier.

He nevertheless hopes that the results of the study will succeed in convincing the most skeptical, such as Mayor Bruno Marchand, who is still awaiting data on the environmental impacts and on the urban sprawl of the project. We believe that this new lighting will change the game argues Mr. Lehouillier.

Lévis paid $65,000 for this study.

With the collaboration of Louise Boisvert and Alexandre Duval

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