As the number of positive cases of Covid-19 increase throughout Quebec, Transportation Critic Pierre Arcand, accompanied by Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions, offered the Legault government a concrete solution to ensure that a minimum of regional air services are maintained during this difficult period and above all ensure a rapid means of transportation that is adapted to the current context. This initiative also serves to remind the Transport Minister of the importance of following up on the Regional Air Transportation Summit which was organized by the previous Liberal government.
Tabled at the National Assembly today by the MNA representing Mont-Royal-Outremont, Bill 691 aims to ensure that air services are maintained in certain regions of Quebec in an effort to encourage their social and economic development and guarantee connections at reasonable rates.
Recall that on June 30th, regional air transportation was compromised by a unilateral business decision. Unfortunately, the CAQ government was slow to act and is incapable of defending our regions and the smaller players who make up this niche.
Today, my colleague and Transport Critic, Pierre Arcand, has stood up for our regions and our families by tabling Bill 691 at the National Assembly. What we are proposing with this bill is a first step toward an audacious project, as I am convinced that our regional air transportation will not stop at this offer or economic market demands. No, I believe that regional air transportation is more than that. It is the means that ensures respect for our regions, that secures and develops our health care network. Our proposal sends a clear message to Quebec’s mayors: we have always worked with you; we have built great projects together. Here is another proposal with a real vision for interregional transportation in Quebec; I am offering you my Charter for Regions project. It will put an end to the Legault government’s wall-to-wall programs and respond to our climate problems while showing concern for the issues facing our regions and the challenges we will have to navigate.
–Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions
I am very proud of today’s initiative to offer Quebecers a real solution to the Legault government’s fixation with relying on a handful of infrastructure projects to ensure Quebec’s economic recovery. Concretely, my project offers an economically sound solution to guarantee regular regional flights at reasonable prices. By quickly guaranteeing the maintenance of essential services for regions such as Abitibi, Gaspésie, Saguenay, Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Côte-Nord for example, the government could expand the Ministry of Transport’s mission and powers as they pertain to the Regional Air Fund. Thus, the government could move ahead with calls for tenders for basic services in these regions and impose maximum and minimum fees for users. This would require financial assistance from the government to cover the deficit generated by the connection providing basic service for a maximum of 5 years. Moreover, the transporter would commit to producing a detailed report and an inspection of the accounts on a quarterly basis.
–Pierre Arcand, Transportation Critic