Caniapiscau - Schefferville extension

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Caniapiscau - Schefferville extension

Postby James » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:34 am

As Walter mentions on this website, this 190km area is not doable even on an ATV because of the forests, rivers, ponds, etc. But in one sense this distance, while significant, is relatively small when compared to the total distance of the James Bay Road, the Trans-Taiga Road, and the Schefferville to Sept-Iles rail link. When and if the section is ever filled it would present the opportunity for a circle tour; I believe auto/train service is available south from Schefferville.

I see that in a "Transportation Plan of Northern Quebec" prepared by the Ministere des Transports in 2002, it was noted that "...the development of a road link between Caniapiscau, Schefferville and Kuujjuaq has been the subject of requests and speculations as well as the link between Sept-Iles and Schefferville". See http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/en/publicatio ... tic_en.pdf page 14.

Nevertheless, the considerable costs involved will probably mean that it will be many years before it reaches fruition, if ever.
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Postby Andrew Kirschner » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:45 am

Schefferville and Kuujjuaq would probably bennefit more from a connection with the Trans-Labrador Highway, even though it is considerably further away. It would certainly make for a shorter journey southward. Of course, this in no way rules out a connection to the Trans-Taiga.

Road connections to Nunavik (the mostly Inuit area in far-northern Quebec) and other remote northern areas would have the bennefit of reducing the cost of living considerably, since the cost of flying goods up is quite high. While a Schefferville-Kuujjuaq link does not seem to be happenning anytime soon, there is serious talk about a connection to Great Whale/Kuujjuarapik/Whapmagoostui, the nearest Nunavik community to the James Bay Road. I suspect this is comming about not just due to the interests of the Cree and Inuit communities but also because Hydro-Quebec has the Great Whale River in its sights. See the link below.

http://www.nunatsiaqnews.com/news/nunavik/61013_03.html

--Andrew
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Postby admin » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:00 pm

Very interesting links! Thank you for posting them!!

Road links would provide a huge boost to tourism in the region, of course. Along with the related changes that roads always bring, some regarded as good, some regarded as destructive.
I wonder if the destructive part is as big a factor these days, with the TV, radio, Internet and other media just about everywhere. Plus much easier and available transportation of consumer goods.
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Postby Nord QC Bouman » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:39 pm

I would like to see rail from Montreal to K358 TTR!
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Postby Andrew Kirschner » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:18 pm

[quote="admin"]
Road links would provide a huge boost to tourism in the region, of course. Along with the related changes that roads always bring, some regarded as good, some regarded as destructive.

I wonder if the destructive part is as big a factor these days, with the TV, radio, Internet and other media just about everywhere. Plus much easier and available transportation of consumer goods.[/quote]

I suspect that tourism would be the least of it. Sure, a road could only boost tourism, but in a place like Nunavik or Schefferville that can only be so high. Labrador City and Chisassibi are still very esoteric travel destinations even with the roads, as are the more extremely north destinations of Western Canada and Alaska that are reachable by road. Still the regions need whatever export crop they can get, and every little bit helps.

I look at this with the eye of an Urban Planner, and do so very cautiously too. Mind you, I'm talking about places I've only read about from the point of view of a guy from New York City. It would take a lot of hubris to assume I know what's best for populations who live a thousand miles away from me and lead very different lives. BUT firmly rooted in that disclaimer...

As I understand it, the problems that Canadian Inuit (and some of the other Northern First Nations) deal with today were almost non-existent two or three generations ago. Notice that none of the towns of Nunavik or Nunavut existed before World War II in their present form. That is because the Inuit still lived nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles. The idea of an "economic base" was redundant because they essentially didn't need money in day-to-day life. They hunted and fished for sustainance. It had to be an incredibly hard life. It's no wonder that the population remained small--what is a wonder to me is that they survived so many years in the most unforgiving of natural environments.

That changed during and after WW2. There were various reasons, but a number of today's Inuit villages (Iqaluit, NU is one) grew up arround US and Canadian air force bases. The Canadian government also became increasingly interested in asserting their sovereignty in the north, and for whatever reason felt they needed a settled population for that goal. The many Catholic and Protestant missions may have also played a role. At any rate, the nomadic lifestyle dissappeared almost overnight, and by the 1960's virtually all Inuit were settled in villages. Once that happenned, with the rapid advance of trnasportation and communications (as you alude to above) it was only a matter of time before they became very much like the "south", cable TV (or is it satelite?) and all. (Like you said, that damage is done.)

This has it good points--Inuit and others have joined the Canadian and US political discourse in a big way--but it's also problematic for a number of reasons. For instance, the culture is not suited to the nine-to-five commuter grind that we mainstream North Americans are used to, and there are stories of difficult transitions when taking up nontraditional employment. Yet an even bigger problem is simply a lack of oportunity. Transportation is a substantial part of the problem, but there's a lot more than that.

There are debates in Inuit society whether to go "forward" or "backwards" (value judgements obviously depend on ones' point of view), and while there are still significant attempts to return to sdome aspects of the old culture, I suspect there's no going back completely. Anyway, if they are to "modernize" (again a loaded word) a lot of things will have to change. Transportation must follow the economic, and the economic depends on a successful and sustainable base industry--in other words an industry where the region exports more than it imports.

A very partial solution is in play with mining--a giant Nickel Mining complex (Raglan) exists in far-northern Quebec and both aboriginal and non-Aboriginal towns throughout northern Canada depend on the industry. Yet while this is certainly an export crop, it can hardly be called a sustainable one. Unless there is significant diversification, the town can only last as long as the mine, and mines have a finite lifespan. (And indeed even Raglan, based in the heart of Nunavik, has only a minority of Inuit employees.) I don't really have any answer though. I wonder if food could be an export crop. Arctic salmon is a favorite down here, for instance.

Anyway, this is where transportation comes in. Not only are consumer goods expensive in the north, due to reliance on air transport, but by the same token so is shipping export crop to the south. It would force prices to be much higher than they would other wise need to be, and thus is a major impediment to selling.

I...might have run off at the mouth a bit here. I find the Inuit fascinating. While there are many different cultures in the world, here is one that is quite different (even today) only a thousand or so miles to the north--closer to NYC than Miami! Anyway, thanks for indulging me.
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Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:22 am

While on the one hand I very much dislike to see the true wild places (are there any "true" wild palces left? what is a "true" wild place??) compromised and intruded upon with roads... I must admit that I love driving, and I love driving on remote roads! So if such roads were built, even if it makes me a hyprocrite, I will definitely be among the first to drive them!! :)
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Postby Andrew Kirschner » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:37 pm

The roadgeek in me would love to see roads built all the way to Hudson Strait. :) However while I might have done this road trip when I was younger, now with my wife and three young children I don't see it hapenning any time soon (not that these projected roads are being built any time soon.) Maybe as a crazy post-retirement adventure. Anyway, that's what this site is for! When you do become one the first the dirve to Kuujjuaq or Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, please take a camera and do be quick to update the site!

Thanks.

:D Andrew
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Re: Caniapiscau - Schefferville extension

Postby Noself » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:26 pm

hello every one.

I have look on the internet for find some info about the project of continue the trans-taiga througt kuujuak and shefferville, but i only find info on the wikipedia article... after the reelection of the liberal governement, they talk about theire "plan nord" that is suppose to develope the extrem north of the province... So iam seeking info about the road prolongation project but i cant find anything on the net... do you guys have some info?

sry for my english again hehe
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