Quebec roads allowed 1500 motorist hostages to go free on Monday, prompting analysts to wonder if a peace accord between roads and the cars that drive on them might be on the horizon.
“We do this because we are a peaceful road network,” said Quebec roads leader Otto Root. “We have no wish to harm drivers, we only ask that they allow us to be treated for our injuries.”
Quebec drivers have been held hostage by the roads for years now, according to journalists at TVA and the Journal de Montréal. Monday morning’s move to release some of them is the first peace move in recent years by the militant roads that call themselves the Root Barrais.
But some drivers aren’t buying the apparently peaceful offering. “We’ve seen this kind of thing before,” said Rick Les, who has been several minutes late to work for what seems like forever. “I’m not buying it this time. Either they release all their hostages or we’re not going anywhere.”
Representatives from the government said negotiations have picked up in recent days, and credit the hostage release to intense talks with the hostage-takers. “We take this as a sign of good faith,” chief negotiator Claude Poirier said. “We’re 10-4 with talks continuing.”
Root said further hostage releases could be possible if talks continue to be fruitful. “But rest assured, we won’t withdraw. The Root Barrais aren’t going anywhere soon.”