Any large infrastructure project of transit requires a substantial investment to properly communicate it and explain it. The tramway of Quebec is no exception.
In its report filed before the Holidays, the general auditor of the City of Québec, Michel Samson, had noted deficiencies in the communication plan for the project. “The needs have been under-estimated in 2018 and have been slow to be defined.”
Then, Mr. Samson was concerned about the fact that the City has not measured the effectiveness of its actions to the level of communications. For a project of this scope, the social acceptability is crucial.
It is true that, in many ways, the City gives the impression of improvising. The report of the committees of good neighbourhood is a good example. Then, for several reasons, some spokesperson for the project, such as the mayor, Rémy Normand, and Daniel Genest, director of the bureau, have not offered their 110 % in the last year.
But even if these door-to-speech had been extraordinary, he would still be a need to invest in an advertising campaign, promotion and communication in various forms. This is what will make the City, which adds about $ 2.5 million to 488 000 $ injected up to now.
Counter the misinformation
It is the responsibility of a decision-maker public to make every effort to explain and communicate their project within the meaning of the world. We’re talking about, after all, a project of $ 3.3 billion. The idea of spending 0.09 percent of the budget does not appear absolutely not exaggerated.
In addition to a reminder of why we do the project, it must also make sure to listen to the people and answer all his questions and concerns. This is done by means of evenings of public consultation, which involves, again, cost.
This is especially true in Quebec, where so much disinformation leads the social acceptability of the project. The phenomenon is well known : repeat a lie repeatedly, and people will eventually believe that it is the truth.
It should not, however, the City fell into the trap of giving the impression that we are trying to “sell” the project or enter it in the throat of people, injecting millions.
It will therefore be important to proceed judiciously and with sensitivity. Nonetheless, this charm is not only necessary, but would have had to begin well in advance.