“Frustrated” and “bored” to see that the tram file is not moving forward, Régis Labeaume regrets the fact that “there is only one for Montreal” in terms of public transport.
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As a sign of his impatience, the mayor of Quebec has quite raised the tone towards the Legault government. Yesterday morning’s virtual press briefing focused almost exclusively on the tramway and the current negotiations with Transport Minister François Bonnardel.
“I see all the announcements that are made in Montreal. These are great announcements. Everyone wants the REM extension [réseau express métropolitain] at their home. I have the impression that there are only those for Montreal now. It looks like it’s relevant in Montreal, but less so in Quebec, ”lamented Mr. Labeaume.
“Something has to happen eventually,” he added. I’m starting to get tired of seeing the ads in Montreal and that with us, things don’t move. Honestly, it’s starting to annoy me. ”
Affirming that “the people of Quebec have the right to ask questions”, Régis Labeaume slipped that “if it does not settle [avec le gouvernement] [il serait] totally transparent with the population ”.
Despite this warning, the mayor carefully avoided setting a deadline for the conclusion of talks on the route of the tram. He also did not want to clearly identify the source of the current blockage.
“My interlocutor is François Bonnardel. I’m very good. He’s a guy I trust a lot. But for the rest, I’ll let you work with the government, “he blurted out to media representatives.
Asked whether federal funding of $ 1.2 billion for the streetcar is threatened, Mr. Labeaume replied that “in this country, there is more demand than supply”.
“At some point, we’re going to have to put our foot down and confirm it,” he said. I have names in mind of my colleagues in Canada who would love to get their hands on this. ”
The mayor reiterated that the longer the delays, the greater the risk that bid costs will escalate.
Route to the west “secure”
Despite certain reports that the route to the west (terminus Le Gendre) of the tramway is threatened, Régis Labeaume has sworn that it is not.
“It doesn’t worry me. No one told me the west is in doubt. Quite the contrary. I read this this week. I don’t understand it. For me, the west is secure. It’s not even a question for me, ”he said.
According to him, “the project that is there is the one that was submitted to the government. There cannot be a major change. “
The mayor again insisted on the importance of having a terminus in the Chaudière sector to “catch” the growing road traffic coming from the Portneuf region.
Duclos and Guilbault react
“The situation is serious. We want to avoid playing Russian roulette because there are other regions in Canada that would like to “compete” for that money and other regions in Quebec that would also like to advance their projects. “
– Jean-Yves Duclos, Federal Liberal Minister and Member of Parliament for Quebec
“We have nothing specific to announce this [vendredi] morning [sur le tramway], but discussions are continuing. They never stopped. This is an important project in Quebec. We continue to develop it in the light of conditions on which we have always been clear on both sides, including service to the suburbs. “
– Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region