Tramway: Arcand fears bickering between Quebec cities

Because the CAQ is slow to settle the financing of the tramway in Quebec, the head of the PLQ Pierre Arcand believes that the government sets the table for a chicane between the different cities of Quebec.
“I do not understand that it takes so much time to settle this issue,” pleaded Mr. Arcand to study government credits Wednesday night. According to him, Prime Minister François Legault is failing his responsibilities and “lack of political will” to advance the structuring transport project in Quebec City. “Do you want the cities of Quebec to quarrel with each other?” He asked.

Mr. Legault replied that this is not a quibble, while throwing stones at the Liberal government in Ottawa and at the former Liberal government in Quebec, led by Philippe Couillard. “This whole issue has been badly attached by the former Liberal government and here we are caught with the problem,” said Legault. The Prime Minister believes that the government of Philippe Couillard was “irresponsible” to announce “a big push” a tram project in Quebec City when the agreement with the federal government was not yet concluded.

Mr. Legault says “understand” the Mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante, who was promised money by the federal government for public transportation in his city, and does not want this pot to be redirected to Quebec City .

For Pierre Arcand, the CAQ government “boasts of doing deals “, but it has great difficulty signing agreements, “especially with the federal government”.

More flexibility

In a letter dated March 8 that Le Soleil was able to read, the Canadian Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities wrote to his Quebec counterpart to inform him of changes to the envelope to fund public transit projects. $ 5.2 billion. These changes are intended to give provinces more flexibility in carrying out their priority projects.

The letter indicates that funds dedicated to public transit may be transferred to another program immediately, rather than 2021. Except that “the municipalities and transportation commissions whose funding will be transferred must certify that they will not have need this federal funding, “by 2028.

It is up to the City of Montreal, which gets the lion’s share of the $ 5.2 billion envelope, to agree to a transfer. Mayor Plante has already closed the door on the idea of ​​letting federal funding for public transit slip through her fingers.

Meeting scheduled

A meeting is planned Thursday in Montreal between the President of the Treasury Board Christian Dubé and the Mayor of Montreal Valerie Plante to discuss this issue. “I think it’s a very clear request from the federal government that we have to discuss with Montreal to see if there is a possible common ground. I have a lot of confidence in the opening of the mayor, “Dubé said on Wednesday.

The minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Geneviève Guilbault would have preferred the federal government grant a real “discretionary” to his government to use the sum of $ 5.2 billion as he sees fit. At present, $ 800 million is still missing completing the $ 3 billion structural transportation project.

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