The government regains control of its parking lots

Le gouvernement reprend le contrôle de ses stationnements

The Quebec government takes control of all of its paid parking lots, which were managed by the private sector for 50 years. This will not prevent the management of hospitals to continue to set themselves the price that patients will pay to park their car.

“You don’t control the rates of the institutions. We may think that we are going to have more influence now? Maybe. But it is a separate file, which will further with the minister of Health,” said Yves Ouellet, president and ceo of the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI).

Mr. Ouellet indicated that the Société Parc-Auto du Québec (SPAQ), a non-profit organization private, which manages all the parking lots of government buildings, will become a subsidiary of the SQI over the next year.

“There was criticism over the transparency of the SPAQ, so we wanted to meet them”, expresses he. The fact that this private company passes into the hands of government will make known its financial statements. The parking lot, it is very profitable for the State, admits Mr. Ouellet. The activities of the SPAQ reported $ 37 million per year, a figure that is expected to continue.

The government had to choose another business model because, by granting a decades-long contracts otc in the SPAQ, he was in breach of certain trade agreements. As he did not want to participate in international tenders, it was decided to carry out this task itself.

“We want to build on the internal expertise and create synergies with our teams of property management,” said Mr. Ouellet. A decision that is related to the first Vision real estate of the government, which will be unveiled Monday. This vision seek to respond to the criticisms of the Auditor general, who has typed on the fingers of the SQI in the last year, claiming that she is not basing its decisions to purchase or rent the spaces for employees on a long-term planning.

The member pq of Taschereau Agnès Maltais has challenged the management of the parking lots of the government a few months ago, concerned about the future of this cash cow for the State. Today, the Parti québécois indicates that this decision was “a confirmation of the enormous blunder of the government have privatised all that”.

The SPAQ manages approximately 400 parking lots located close to buildings where work public servants in quebec. She also manages the parking lots of hospitals, colleges and universities, but not all. The SPAQ does not set the rates, leaving it rather to the directions of each of the schools.

The member of parliament François Paradis, the Coalition avenir Québec, hopes that the government will take advantage of this change to require lower rates in all the hospitals in Quebec. He wishes that patients have the right to 2 hours of free parking and that the price does not exceed $ 10 per day. “The government already had its word to say and would have already been able to say its word.”

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