Confusion clearly reigns within the Legault government when it comes to the Third Link project. The Minister of Transport, Mr. François Bonnardel, skirted all questions that the MNA representing La Pinière and Official Opposition Critic for Transport, Mr. Gaétan Barrette, asked during the study of the Ministry of Transport’s budget credits this afternoon.
Premier François Legault had adopted the same strategy a day earlier when he was questioned by the Leader of the Official Opposition, Mr. Pierre Arcand.
Premier Legault and Minister Bonnardel refused to divulge the amount of money that was earmarked in the central budgetary envelope for the total estimated cost of the Third Link project. But they surely have access to this information, because they have ushered the project on to the planning stage and when the last budget was tabled the government had earmarked 325 million dollars to create plans and specifications.
The Premier and his Minister of Transport also refuse to acknowledge whether they possess the preliminary studies that would confirm its impact on traffic, or route mapped for the Third Link. Yet the directive for managing major public infrastructure projects requires that these steps be completed before a project can move into the planning stage.
Mr. Barrette recalled that the CAQ had been demanding more transparency in this file for years and had summoned the government to render public all of the project information. It kept hammering that citizens of Quebec have the right to all of the information.
Faced with the Minister’s stubbornness, the MNA representing La Pinière asked for authorization to hold discussions with the project management bureau, which the minister also refused.
As part of the opposition, the CAQ demanded more transparency from the government. Today, from the other side of the Salon Bleu, Minister Bonnardel refused to answer questions. It’s another example of the CAQ’s lack of transparency. This is a major project and we need to be sure that it is undertaken correctly. Yet, they have only offered us obscure answers about the existence of studies that are rather essential to the project’s completion. Given these circumstances, and on behalf of all Quebec citizens, I ask Mr. Legault and Bonnardel to be coherent and unveil the costs and the route planned for the future Third Link.
—Gaétan Barrette, MNA representing La Pinière and Official Opposition Critic for the Conseil du Tresor and Transport.