Royalmount Mega Mall: Montreal, Quebec strike committee to study traffic problems in the area

The Quebec government and the city of Montreal appear to be giving the Royalmount Mega Mall project a chance.

It's struck a working committee to look at ways of improving traffic and public transportation in the area.

The working committee comes over a month after Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel expressed concerns about increased traffic in an already congested sector.

Montreal's economic and urban development committee recommended putting the brakes on the Royalmount project, prompting Plante to call for a review. 

"Despite this and despite the willingness of city council to back up the administration, I guess they felt they had no choice," said city councillor Marvin Rotrand, whose Snowdon district surrounds Royalmount on three sides.

Rotrand is among a group of local elected officials who have been vocal in their opposition to the project.

"I suggested that I did not trust the Plante administration to stick to its guns on this, that they would back down the first time there was a counter-reaction from big players like the government of Quebec and that seems to be what happened," said Rotrand in an interview with CJAD 800.

"I think this is power politics. It's a billion dollars on the table and obviously what's happened is the government of Quebec has refused to say no."

A spokesman for the mayor's office said they are continuing negotiations with the developer Carbonleo and the Town of Mount Royal so that the project is "better aligned with the needs of the public," stressing that "no decision has been made and no measures are excluded while negotiations are ongoing."

The working committee will study traffic and public transit needs and recommend improvements.

"It's still going to be way too large for this site," said Rotrand.

The working committee will be headed up by Florence Junca-Adenot, former head of what used to be the regional transit authority AMT. Her report is expected this fall.