It’s really scary when you find yourself on the side of the road alone, injured, trying to call 911 and there’s no tank passing. »

A quote from Valéry Bélisle, resident of Rivière-Saint-Jean

The resident of Rivière-Saint-Jean left her home around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in the direction of Sept-Îles. The prison intervention technique student was going there for the start of an internship.

She still doesn’t know what happened at the wheel. Did I feel faint, did I fall asleep? I do not know it. But when I opened my eyes it was too late to do anythingrecalls Valéry.

His car crashed down a ditch between Route 138 and the beach. I felt, I saw, I heard the metal breaking, the windows breaking. When the tank started rolling, I felt it toosays the young woman.

Valéry Bélisle escapes with a broken vertebra, but she is aware that she was lucky.

A young woman smiles at the camera with two dogs by her side.

Valery Belisle, 22 years old.

Photo: Facebook/Valéry Bélisle

I must have tried ten times to call 911. »

A quote from Valery Belisle

When her car crashed on the beach, the young woman realizes that, miraculously, her cell phone is still functional. However, the network is non-existent there.

The Rivière au Bouleau is located approximately halfway between Sept-Îles and Rivière-Saint-Jean. However, cellular coverage is almost non-existent from the Moisie River to Kegaska.

Only the villages of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Natashquan as well as the sector of Havre-Saint-Pierre offer a cellular network. There are also a few places identified with the wi-fi network in the villages of Minganie, but on the road, motorists are left to their own devices.

The way my tank was placed, it was impossible for anyone to see me from above. […] I knew I had to get out of there. I had no choice, she insists. The pain was also starting to be felt in his back.

Valéry Bélisle managed to extricate himself from his vehicle by hitting the door with his feet.

She took it twice to climb the rock embankment to Route 138. After about 45 minutes of waiting, a motorist stopped to help her.

Play with lives

This is not the first time that such a situation has occurred. For nearly ten years, the prefect of the MRC de la Minganie, Luc Noël, has been denouncing the lack of cell phone coverage in the territory.

It’s annoying because we repeat that ad nauseam to our political representatives. […] It seems that we are not heard by the governmenthe admits.

He deplores the accident that occurred to Ms. Bélisle, while acknowledging that her situation is not unique. The entire security of an entire population depends of the cellular network, recalls Luc Noël.

In 2020, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) introduced the Broad Fund, which aimed to bridge the digital divide in the country. In the first five years, the Fund is expected to disburse up to $750 million in projects.

A request for funding to deploy the cellular network in Minganie was made in 2020, says Luc Noël. The region is still awaiting a response from the CRTC.

(Politicians) play with the life of the world. They are putting the world at risk by leaving road networks like this. »

A quote from Valéry Bélisle, victim of a road accident

The file is also one of the priorities of the Federation of Quebec Municipalities (FQM) in view of the provincial elections in the fall. It asks that quality cellular coverage be deployed throughout Quebec.

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