In case you missed it, here's what happened in Montreal on July 4

The pledged Pink Line adition to the métro network will be one of the projects the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain will consider next year. Vincenzo D'Alto / Montreal Gazette

A look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:

Quebec putting up $15 million to study Montreal transit priorities

Quebec will invest nearly $15 million to study nine public transit projects that Montreal and regional mayors identified as the top priorities for the greater Montreal region, Transport Minister André Fortin announced Wednesday.

The studies should take a year to 18 months to complete, after which authorities will analyze the data concerning ridership projections, costs and impacts on population and decide which projects should be prioritized, Fortin said.

Among the projects being studied are:

The proposal of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s Projet Montréal party to create a new métro Pink Line running from the south-west to the north-east through the city. Extending the Yellow Line south into Longueuil. Extending the western arm of the métro’s Orange Line northward into Laval. A high-speed public transit link on Taschereau Blvd. in Longueuil. Converting the Mascouche suburban train line to the east, which was put into service three-and-a-half years ago, into an electric rail line compatible with the coming Réseau express métropolitain (REM) rail line. Creating a high-speed link along Notre-Dame St. to downtown Montreal. Extending the planned Pie-IX Blvd. express bus lanes southward to Notre-Dame St.

The transport minister stressed that the decisions were chosen according to needs expressed by local politicians and citizens.

“These projects are all based on priorities identified by many of the local officials who are with me today,” he said. “They are the ones who better recognized the citizens of the greater Montreal region and which ones could have a better impact on the lives of those citizens.”

650 investigations underway following illegal crane operator strike

The number of investigations related to the illegal Quebec crane operators strike in June is continuing to rise drastically.

The total number of files the Commission de la construction du Québec has launched against crane operators in relation to the walkout has increased from 150 to 650, with more on the horizon as investigations continue, CCQ spokesperson Mélanie Malenfant said Wednesday.

She specified that the files are of a criminal nature, considering the illegality of the strike. The priority is being given to files that involved threats or intimidation, Malenfant continued.

Crane operators from across the province walked off the job at the end of June to protest changes made to their training, which they said were unsafe.

Workers were absent from the construction site of the new Champlain Bridge from June 14 to June 26.

St-Hubert restaurants to eliminate plastic straws in August

The St-Hubert restaurant chain has joined a growing movement to eliminate the use of plastic drinking straws.

The iconic Quebec restaurant chain made the announcement Wednesday, noting that other restaurant brands that belong to the RECIPE Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations) would adopt the same policy. Those restaurants include Harvey’s, The Keg, Swiss Chalet and East Side Mario’s.

Single-use plastic drinking draws and the inability of many centres to recycle them have been blamed for adding to marine pollution.

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