Yesterday, the MNA representing Mont-Royal and Official Opposition Critic for Transport, Pierre Arcand, had the opportunity to question Transport Minister François Bonnardel during the study of budgetary allocations. The Réseau Express Métropolitain’s (REM) 3rd Link tramway was discussed along with many other projects and the conclusion is clear; there is a scarcity of information. For example, it was very difficult, if not impossible in certain circumstances, to get the costs and details for many of Quebec’s major projects.
The Minister of Transport has clearly shown us the extent to which the Ministry of Transport can be opaque. In addition, many transportation projects in the regions, including Quebec City and Montreal, have not yet been finalized within his government.
As proof, his colleague Geneviève Guilbault, the Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, still refuses to offer clear support for the Tramway project and clearly stated during the study of budgetary allocations for the Capitale-Nationale region that the project should be on hold until the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) reports have been submitted. On the other hand, François Bonnardel said that it would be going ahead as early as this fall.
What’s more, in an interview the Minister of Transport gave himself a C- regarding the state of Quebec’s transportation network under his watch. He confirms that it would take another 10 years of massive investments for his mark to improve- a mark he quantifies at 5 out of 10. Disappointing.
There’s a double standard with Ministry of Transport. The criteria changes depending on what project we are discussing. For the Pont de l’Île, for example, the timeline remains 2027, but he said that the work on the 3rd Link would begin within 2 years. He is adamant! Yet, it appears obvious that he is clearly underestimating the steps with the BAPE, expropriations and more still. It is unacceptable and we are witnessing a blatant lack of transparency.
-Mr. Pierre Arcand, MNA representing Mont-Royal and Official Opposition Critic for Transport