After the rather laborious agreements between the governments of Quebec and Canada in the financing of infrastructure projects under the Harper government, the first ministers Justin Trudeau and Philippe Couillard have touted their speed to an agreement of $ 2.5 billion in this matter.
The premiers of Canada and Quebec have indeed confirmed Tuesday in Montreal, signing a three-year agreement covering not only the public transport infrastructure, but also on the treatment of wastewater. Everything follows the investments in this area announced in the last federal budget.
The federal government will spend $ 1.2 billion over three years. The rest will come from the municipalities and the Quebec government. The municipalities will vary depending on the size of the municipality, the complexity of the project and other criteria, noted the Prime Minister Couillard.
Specifically, $ 924 million will be spent on transit infrastructure and $ 364 million for projects related to drinking water and wastewater treatment.
Montrealers who hoped to see the blue line finally extended metro will have to wait, since the project is postponed to a possible second Canada-Quebec agreement.
But the transit will not be outdone. “We will be able to upgrade and replace the rolling stock, improve public transit stations, construction and rehabilitation of networks treatment and distribution of drinking water,” said the Prime Minister Couillard.
This Canada-Quebec agreement was greeted with a sigh of relief in the municipal sector. In the past, under the previous government of Stephen Harper, the negotiation of these agreements had been so laborious that sometimes the promised money was left on the table.
That is why the president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities, Bernard Sévigny, said he was finally ready to go on the attack with many projects. Quebec municipalities have for $ 14 billion “shovel-ready”, he stressed.
“Over the past few years, I would say that the long negotiations between Quebec and Ottawa have often had the effect of making us lose time and money. The impression we have is to be on the penalty bench, “complained Mr. Sévigny.
“Today, thanks to this new era of cooperation that is emerging between the governments of Canada and Quebec and the municipalities also, I think this time is definitely over”, opined Mr. Sevigny, also mayor of Sherbrooke.
The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, also expressed relief to see this valuable agreement finally signed. “Too often, we made the news because Quebec did not sign the agreements,” he recalled.
Gatineau wants its piece of the pie
The Mayor of Gatineau, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, entent well go get some funding to $ 1.3 billion from the federal / provincial infrastructure on transportation in common and wastewater treatment.
Mr. Jobin-Pedneaud welcomed the speed with which Quebec and Ottawa were unable to agree, a contrast to the years of the Harper government.
“It’s really a giant step has been done,” he responded, stating that Gatineau had many projects to be submitted.
“There are many in transit, has he said. We know we have an aging fleet, including the Ottawa Transportation Company. In terms of water management, it has a capital expenditure program that is heavily loaded, you know you have a catch-up is important in our infrastructure. ”
The mayor also noted that Gatineau has the advantage of having a good “financial health” allowing, if necessary, borrow for projects to benefit from funding under the agreement between Quebec and Ottawa.
Phase two of the grant program is also highly anticipated, said the mayor, since it could serve to develop a quick link to the west of the city.