Tramway: City of Quebec disappointed with federal budget

The Labeaume administration says it is “disappointed” by the federal budget which, according to it, does not make it possible to identify the 800 million missing from the financing of the structuring network project of 3 billion dollars.

“Did you see clearly identified in this budget the contribution of $ 800 million that are lacking for the financing of the tram,” questioned the chairman of the RTC, Rémy Normand, Wednesday on the sidelines of the urban agglomeration council.

According to him, the federal government’s announcement to increase the Quebec gas tax from $ 500 million to $ 1 billion is insufficient.

“Of this additional $ 500 million, $ 160 million must be divided among the nine transportation companies in Quebec. It is far from the account, “he says.

Under the Liberals, the Quebec government pledged to fund the $ 1.8-billion trolley project. A promise renewed by the new Caquist government.

To this, we must add $ 412 million that the City of Quebec is guaranteed to receive from Ottawa under a federal-provincial agreement of $ 5.2 billion for transit projects. The agreement disadvantages Quebec since the sums are allocated according to the goodwill. In this context, Montreal receives the lion’s share.

In the end, $ 800 million is still missing from the federal government to complete its $ 1.2 billion contribution.

Since then, Quebec and Ottawa are sending the ball to know how to finance the missing portion, and especially from what funds available. Yet everyone assures that the money is in the coffers.

A good step, according to Guilbault

Quebec’s Deputy Premier Geneviève Guillaume congratulated the Trudeau government on the “step in the right direction” with the addition of $ 500 million to the gas tax. “We continue to study the budget and we are continuing our discussions,” she said.

Mr. Normand is now waiting for the provincial budget presented this Thursday. He hopes that the Quebec government will specify from which federal fund it will take the 800 million missing.

The councilor and vice-president of the executive committee stressed that the city must obtain answers to avoid delays in the project. Indeed, the tramway project is at a stage where significant sums must be invested. He hinted that there was Plan B if he did not get satisfaction after Thursday’s budget presentation.

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