Quebec winter storm ‘shambles’ prompts government investigation

The Quebec government has launched an investigation into the response that left hundreds of vehicles stranded on a snowy Montreal highway.

The Quebec government has apologized, sanctioned two employees and is investigating its mishandling of a winter storm this week that stranded hundreds of vehicles for more than 12 hours on a Montreal highway.

The debacle on Highway 13, a route that runs from Montreal in the south to the populous suburb of Laval in the north, has already resulted in sanctions against a bureaucrat in Quebec’s Transport Ministry and the reassignment of a Sûreté du Québec officer who has been blamed for the delay in evacuating motorists and passengers from the highway.

The provincial government has also requested an external investigation into what the different agencies and jurisdictions did and did not do between 6 p.m. Tuesday, when two tractor trailers became immobilized in the snow storm, and Wednesday morning, when the last of the passengers were evacuated and their vehicles towed.

Yes, we were faced with an exceptional situation, but the response to that exceptional situation fell short,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Faced with the evidence of this shambles—and I don’t think there is any other word for it—in the name of the government and myself I want to apologize to those people who were put in danger or injured.

The internal provincial police investigation has already resulted in a decision to place the officer in charge of the SQ’s response on administrative duties, said spokesperson Guy Lapointe.

Yes, we were faced with an exceptional situation, but the response to that exceptional situation fell short.

Read entire article Quebec winter storm ‘shambles’ prompts government investigation | The Star

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