The Council of Prefects and Elected Officials of the Laurentians Region (CPÉRL) criticizes Quebec for underfunding the region, which has experienced significant population growth in recent years.

A victim of its own success, the Laurentians region is said to have attracted 12,000 new residents out of the 40,000 who left Montreal, not counting cottage owners who stay there full-time or part-time.

“The exceptional increase in the population experienced by the Laurentians region in recent years is the largest among all regions of Quebec,” explained the CPÉRL in a press release on Friday.

The underfunding that resulted from this growth represents the flip side of the attractiveness of the Laurentians. Not being indexed to the demographic weight of the population, the share of the budget would no longer be sufficient to meet the needs of the region.

Health, transport and access to nature affected

The accessibility and quality of services in the health sector in the Laurentians have suffered a severe blow for this reason.

Load shedding, lengthening of waiting lists, or even exaggerated waiting for diagnostic tests have created “a lot of anxiety among patients”.

As a result, one-third of Saint-Laurent residents wishing to seek medical services must go to Montreal, Laval or even Ontario.

Traffic is not unscathed either. “Demographic growth is also causing enormous pressure on the Laurentian road access network which, from south to north, is experiencing a very high traffic flow,” reported CPÉRL.

To remedy these problems, the CPERL hopes to be entitled to a budget more consistent with the new demographic portrait of the region. He also intends to challenge the government on the situation during a press briefing scheduled for next Monday.

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