Opposition parties at the National Assembly Thursday said they welcome the federal commitment to invest over a billion dollars in Montreal’s light-rail project, but they insist the government’s plan is flawed.
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Quebec Liberals aren’t requiring that the train needs to be built in Quebec, nor by Quebec companies.
CAQ leader @francoislegault says: “There’s a shadow floating on the project” https://t.co/OSxbuJmeYr
— Raquel Fletcher (@RaquelGlobal) June 15, 2017
The government hoped to pass its bill to get the train rolling by the end of this week, but that’s not going to happen. Opposition parties say it’s a lot of public money – $6 billion – and they’re going to take their time going over the legislation point by point.
“With all this money that is invested in this project, it’s unacceptable that we don’t help create good jobs in Quebec,” Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader, François Legault said.
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Opposition parties said the government needs guarantee that at least 25 per cent of the work is done by locals, arguing it is common practice in transport projects and that the United States demands 60 per cent.
“There’s zero requirement for local content. There’s zero requirement for having jobs created here for the train itself,” said Parti Quebecois leader, Jean-François Lisée.
This is not the only issue which has held up the train bill – PQ MNA Alain Therrien walked out of public hearing meeting after he said the Caisse de Dépôt, Quebec’s pension fund, failed to explain how they would make a profit.
“(It’s) taxpayers’ money, but we have no say in how a project can develop and can act as a lever to develop our own economy,” said Quebec Solidaire MNA, Amir Khadir.
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In Thursday’s question period, the transport minister said the government normally does require local content, but the REM train is run by the Caisse de Dépôt.
By contrast, Laurent Lessard said at least 25 per cent of the blue line extension for the Montreal metro will be built by Quebecers.