Madame Guilbault, young people have had enough of your empty promises!

Madame Guilbault, young people have had enough of your empty promises!
Madame Guilbault, young people have had enough of your empty promises!

Ms. Geneviève Guilbault,

Young people have had enough of empty promises and fine press briefings to announce the postponement of projects that will never be carried out. 6 years have passed since your team took power. During the 2018 and 2022 election campaigns, you made the promise of a structuring transportation project in eastern Montreal.

We are in 2024 and…nothing! Just like the Quebec City tram project, you turned corners, you gave up silently: without scandals, without splashes.

We are writing to you to demand once again that the government prioritize what symbolizes daily hell for young citizens in the East: the completion as quickly as possible of a structuring collective transport project in the east of the metropolis. .

Reality

First, let us introduce you to our reality. According to Centraide-Mtl, the percentage of individuals aged 15 and over without high school diplomas stood at 23% in Pointe-aux-Trembles, 25% in Rivière-des-Prairies and 30% in Montréal-Est. The Montreal standard? 17%.

Madam Minister, we are already vulnerable. Why put obstacles in our way once again? Is it acceptable that it is faster to go by car to the University of Trois-Rivières than to the University of Montreal by public transport from Rivière-des-Prairies? Is it desirable, Madam Minister, that a young person from Rivière-des-Prairies wishing to get an education must spend on average 12.5 hours per week on public transport? Where can I find the time to study and get involved?

It is unfair that we have to travel the Camino de Santiago to get to post-secondary institutions. It is a question of territorial equity. It’s a question of social justice.

Impacts

Furthermore, ridership on public transport has actually decreased since the pandemic. But know that young people, seniors and disadvantaged people have not stopped using them, because when you have no other options, there is no choice to make.

We, young people, are dependent on the rest of the metropolis and the public transport network. Students who must go to UQÀM will continue to use public transportation. The young nursing student will still have to do her internship at the CHUM and she will inevitably have to take the bus and the metro.

It’s inevitable. Since the STM service cuts, several bus routes connecting our districts to the rest of the metropolis have seen their schedules reduced. The frequency of passage of buses which connect us to suburban trains and the metro as well. These cuts, Madam Minister, are not anecdotal details. They are, in reality, injustices.

This lack of ambition for the East directly impacts our daily lives and our collective future. If the trend continues, we must admit that the East will remain the poor child of the island of Montreal. However, this is not up to us, but up to you.

In short, we are demanding concrete action from you, an announcement, a shovelful of earth. We want to have access to places of knowledge just like young people in central neighborhoods. The future of Rivière-des-Prairies depends on your power to act. We are convinced that it is not too late.

In the meantime, we invite you, with us, to make the average journey of a student from the University of Montreal or McGill from Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles. You will thus understand the painful reality of an academic who does not yet have his ministerial limousine…

Photo courtesy, François-Olivier Lauzière

The Youth Council of Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles (organization which aims to defend the voice of young people in the borough)

Members :

Alexandre Fabien Gagné, co-president, 17 years old

Daniel Di Stefano, co-president, 22 years old

Alyson Augustin, 13 years old

Anaïs Léveillée, 15 years old

Anick Joly, 17 years old

Brian Di Penna, 22 years old

Darlène Jean-Jacques, 18 years old

Esteban Lantimo, 15 years old

Gustavsi Tasi, 24 years old

Jolianne Pelletier, 22 years old

Noveen Norzi Allan, 14 years old

Olivier Provost, 24 years old

Raphaël Boisvert, 22 years old

Raphaëlle Poirier, 14 years old

William Déziel, 22 years old

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