Quebec municipalities will have to do without an envelope of $350 million for public transit and green infrastructure due to a new direction from Ottawa, which the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) deplores.
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The federal government would then not have respected the terms of the Canada-Quebec bilateral agreement for the infrastructure program, when it had undertaken to add to the amounts already provided for, according to the UMQ.
Instead, Ottawa had indicated last May that this sum of $350 million would be allocated to the consolidated fund and not remitted to the Quebec government as planned.
“In a context of climate emergency, I do not understand the orientation of the federal government not to transfer this sum as stipulated in the agreement”, declared Thursday by press release the president of the UMQ and mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Side.
“The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program enables municipalities to, among other things, expand and improve public transit infrastructure, increase the energy efficiency of buildings and improve the ability to process or manage waste. On behalf of all Quebec municipalities, I ask the federal government to reconsider its position,” he added.
The deadline for submitting new projects in this program has also been brought forward by two years, to March 31, 2023.
“This change, which would also be contrary to the Integrated Bilateral Agreement, would mean that the Quebec government would now have less than a year to submit approximately $4 billion in projects,” the UMQ pointed out.