The mayor of Quebec was struggling to contain his discontent on Monday, in the presence of a member of the coalition Future Quebec on the federal-provincial chicane around the financing of the tramway project.
“That’s what I’m tired of now. It is this project. In all my business [cancer diagnosis], that’s what I find achalant. It would have to be fixed. ”
Régis Labeaume was answering a question from a reporter about his expectations of the federal and provincial budgets tabled Tuesday and Thursday of this week, on the sidelines of a press conference on a $ 1.3 million grant to the companies APN and Intellinox.
Obviously, the mayor’s patience is running out. “We promised $ 1.8 billion. That’s what the Mayor wants. Support the project, “said Chauveau MP Sylvain Lévesque, before being interrupted by Mr. Labeaume.
“If you ask me, what I want is that you solve the problem,” said the mayor. Asked later on the same subject, he was incisive, responding in turn: “All political parties supported the project. When you support it, it is necessary that the boots follow the chops “,” Leave us alone with your quibbles and settle your business because we have a little bit of pressure “, and” Let them get along and let them be patient with their quibble. ”
Finally, Mr. Labeaume admitted that it was difficult to progress the project. “I’m going to stop. I’m going to restrain myself, but if it does not work I’ll know what to say. ”
Without presuming the death of the transit structuring network project for which the federal government is expected to provide $ 1.2 billion, there are fears of possible delays.
Part of the problem is the public transit funding formula under the existing federal-provincial agreement. It favors large cities that can already rely on public transit systems, such as Montreal, because the money is distributed according to public transit ridership. The city could thus capture most of the $ 5.2 billion, leaving crumbs to the capital and other cities. The Legault government asks to change the formula, which Ottawa refuses to do.
On the other hand, the Quebec government does not want to pigeonhole in the Québec Green Fund to compensate for Ottawa’s financial absence, as the City suggests.