Saturday, 19 July 2014

Summer in Québec

Summer visitors driving around the province of Quebec, exploring the cities and country sides, will find something is off. New buildings are going up, but the site is like a ghost town.  What happened?  Did they run out of money to finish?  Not only that, roads were being redone but all work has stopped. Heavy equipment is sitting idle on the sides of the streets. Why aren't they finishing the work? Well.... you have come during another annual phenomenon that occurs in Quebec. 

Tomorrow is the official start of Summer Construction Holiday!

For the last 2 weeks of July (Sunday to Saturday), Québec construction workers lay down their tools, lock up their heavy equipment, and go on vacation. This is the result of the collective agreement of the construction industry made official in 1970 and took effect for the first time in the summer of 1971.  With others also taking their holidays at this time it is estimated that 1/4 of Quebec's work force is on vacation.

There have been some exceptions made for "essential" work, like the repairs being made to the Mercier, Champlain and Jacques Cartier Bridges in Montreal. That work will continue and the workers will take their vacation at another time.

Add visitors to the province in the mix, and that is a lot of people travelling the roads. Officials ask that you be vigilant, as there has historically been a rise in fatal accidents on the roads at this time.

You may want to check road conditions and closures, and border crossing wait times before heading out.

The construction industry also has a mandatory 2 week winter vacation encompassing Christmas and New Years.

Relevant Links:

Canada Border Services Agency - wait times

Transports Québec - road conditions and closures
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