Monday, November 01, 2004

How do you spell "white elephant" in Québec? M-I-R-A-B-E-L

Last international passenger flight leaves Mirabel airport, future uncertain: courtesy of CNEWS.

The sprawling complex 40 kilometres north of Montreal faces an uncertain fate after being billed the airport of the future when it was opened amid great fanfare in 1975...

... When the airport opened, officials at the time predicted 60 million passengers would pass through the glass, steel and concrete structure annually by 2010, but yearly passenger traffic never surpassed three million.

Roads to Mirabel, 40 kilometres north of Montreal, were left underdeveloped, a proposed rail link never got off the ground and thousands of displaced residents bemoaned federal expropriation of their land.

The government expropriated more than 324 square kilometres of prime farmland but only used 16 square kilometres for the airport. A total of 10,000 people had been forced from their homes.

If that doesn't say anything about government short-sightedness, what else can?


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