Mobility Infra Quebec | 17 targeted projects, tens billions to find

(Quebec) The Legault government has targeted five public transport projects, but also 12 road projects which could possibly be entrusted to its new agency, Mobilité Infra Québec, has learned The Press. The problem is that to date he has not found most of the 67 billion dollars needed to achieve them.

Tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday by the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, the bill creating Mobilité Infra Québec does not resolve the determining problem of financing.

According to forecasts produced by the government, the new “independent” agency could possibly inherit 17 projects that are being studied or planned in Quebec. It is not certain that Mobilité Infra Québec will be responsible for carrying out all of them.

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The five public transport projects represent a bill currently estimated at 37 billion. The “structuring networks” of Quebec, eastern Montreal and the South Shore are part of this. These are Geneviève Guilbault’s three priority projects.

Only 4 billion have been set aside for the five projects in the Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI), which provides for investments over a 10-year horizon. Quebec already has planned spending of 153 billion to renovate or build public infrastructure of all kinds in its PQI.

The 12 road projects, the nature of which is shrouded in mystery, would cost 29.5 billion in total. About a quarter of this sum, 7.5 billion, was reserved in the PQI in order to achieve them.

Geneviève Guilbault’s bill is limited to indicating that the Land Transport Network Fund (FORT) will finance projects and mandates under the responsibility of Mobilité Infra Québec.

However, this fund, which is used to pay for both roads and public transport, is in deficit. Its expenses are skyrocketing, in part because of inflation, while its revenues, which come from the gas tax and registration fees, among others, are stagnating.

The Press reported last week of resistance to the government regarding the creation of Mobilité Infra Québec, among other things on the subject of financing. At Transport, different scenarios were proposed in vain so that the agency would receive, for example, part of the dividends paid to the government by Hydro-Québec or a part of the revenue reserved for the Generations Fund, which is used to reduce the weight of the debt.

Contribution of cities

At a press conference, Geneviève Guilbault simply said that the “financial arrangements will be made” when the government “will entrust the realization of a project” to Mobilité Infra Québec. “And we submit a new PQI every year, so everything will be adjusted accordingly,” she added.

The government does not want to be the only one paying the bills. He intends to put pressure on Ottawa to bring forward the entry into force of its new public transportation infrastructure program, scheduled for 2026. He also wants to knock on the door of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.


The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, tabled her bill creating Mobilité Infra Québec on Thursday.

Cities will have to make their contribution. According to the bill, in the case of a collective transport project entrusted to Mobilité Infra Québec, “the minister must agree with local municipalities, public transport companies, the Metropolitan Transport Network or the Regional Transport Authority. metropolitan transport, when they are covered by the project, of the amount of a financial contribution from them.”

This provision will be “no surprise” for cities according to Minister Guilbault, to the extent that they already have to pay for part of the projects. “I expect the municipalities to collaborate and agree on an amount. It is also planned (that in the absence of an agreement), it is the government which will determine the contribution in question,” she said.

The bill indicates that “responsibility relating to the operation” of a new transport system created by Mobilité Infra Québec must also be the subject of an agreement with the city or public transport company.

“The financial responsibility for the operation of a public transport system lies” with the city or the transport company concerned, it is added.

“The most urgent needs”

According to the bill, Mobilité Infra Québec will have the mandate to analyze, plan and carry out “complex transport projects”. These are public transport projects and road projects – such as the construction of a bridge.

“The first projects that will be entrusted to this agency are large-scale public transport projects,” said Geneviève Guilbault. “For me, at the moment, the most urgent needs are Quebec, eastern Montreal and the South Shore of Montreal. All this is not going to happen overnight”, but it is important “to be able to send a signal (saying that) there is someone in charge of these projects and (that) there is something something that is going to happen. Because right now, we’re just talking about it, and that’s getting on my nerves a little.” She also mentioned the Gatineau and Sherbrooke projects.

Mobilité Infra Québec, whose headquarters will be in Quebec, will not be subject to the Civil Service Act, but well at State Corporation Governance Act. This will make it possible to offer higher salaries than those of civil servants.

Mobilité Infra Québec will be administered by a board composed of nine members, including the chairman of the board, the president and CEO and the deputy minister of Transport or his representative. The duration of their mandate will be no more than five years. Managers will be recruited from private firms, or even abroad, according to the minister.

The agency will initially have up to 50 employees. This number could vary, “it will depend on the number of projects that will be entrusted to him,” said Guilbault. The bill provides arrangements for transferring employees from the Department of Transportation to the new agency.

Mobilité Infra Québec may, with government authorization, “acquire or form subsidiaries”. To create a “more specialized team” or to manage a particular project, explained Geneviève Guilbault.

If the bill is adopted in the fall as planned, Mobilité Infra Québec will be operational next year. It will have an operating budget of 6 million the first year and 9.5 million thereafter, said the minister. The agency will be subject to the Directive on major projects of the Treasury Board and to the Public Infrastructure Act.


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