My Hometown is Crumbling

Sinkhole - Ontario and Plessis streetsMontreal has always had bad roads. Its something that I’ve just learned to live with.

Before I thought that that roads were a side effect of our harsh winter weather and the choice of rock-salt as the primary de-icing agent. Now, in what is proving to be a systemic issue, it has become clear to me that the roads, like what seems to be the vast majority of public works projects, were done in the most half-assed of manners.

Ottawa basically has the same climate as Montreal. Atlantic provinces, and even some New England states, have essentially the same climate as Montreal. Yet their roads not only cost less (30% less by some estimates), but generally last about a third longer than ours do.

Now, I wouldn’t mind paying a third more for streets and other infrastructure as long as the lifespan is a third longer… but you know that wouldn’t happen.

I’m not one to complain if I don’t have a solution – but I just can’t see a way out of this. I would love to say that our next project should be offered to companies outside the province, but due to union and worker solidarity, we would see strikes from other workers. Or, more likely, the out-of-province workers simply wouldn’t cross the border.

Quebec in general, and Montreal specifically, is in trouble. The culture of corruption within the construction industry is so deeply ingrained that I don’t know if it can ever truly be solved.

I swear, people are going to die before this gets dealt with properly.