Third link to Quebec: The CDPQ contradicts Minister Guilbault

Third link to Quebec: The CDPQ contradicts Minister Guilbault
Third link to Quebec: The CDPQ contradicts Minister Guilbault

Contrary to what the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, keeps repeating, it is not a “vast majority” of the stakeholders consulted by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) in the framework of his analysis of mobility in Quebec who spoke of “economic security”.

In fact, only about 70 of the 172 stakeholders consulted (just over 40%) “expressed concerns about the security of trade links, freight transport or the redundancy of existing bridges,” CDPQ confirmed to The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

Last Thursday, Mme Guilbault affirmed in a press conference with Prime Minister François Legault, then during a series of interviews, that a “vast majority” of the stakeholders consulted by the CDPQ had spoken of “economic security”.

For a week now, the Legault government has been raising the argument of “economic security” to justify its decision to relaunch the third Quebec-Lévis motorway link.

“Whether it’s the Fund, or […] the vast majority of 172 people or groups […] that they met, […] there is a major commercial and economic security issue,” declared Minister Guilbault at a press conference.

She repeated this statement later, in an interview with Patrice Roy, on Radio-Canada.

“ [La CDPQ a dit] “we are aware that there is a very big economic security issue to the extent that there is only the Pierre-Laporte bridge which can accommodate goods throughout eastern Quebec.” Many, many, many people, because they spoke to 172 stakeholders as part of their work, and a large majority of these people expressed concern about redundancy, the possibility of having an alternative at the Pierre-Laporte bridge,” she declared Geneviève Guilbault.

“So, as a result, they are saying, ‘The government could explore the possibility of having a new inter-river link,’” she added.

In its report presented to the general public last week, the CDPQ does not recommend the construction of a third Quebec-Lévis highway link. She does not take a position on the issue of “economic security”, saying that it goes beyond her mandate, but affirms that “several” speakers have expressed concerns about the safety and redundancy of existing bridges.

“Following these meetings, we noted that more than 40% of them expressed concerns about the security of commercial links, the transport of goods or the redundancy of existing bridges,” responded the CDPQ to The Canadian Press, Wednesday.

Asked to provide an exact percentage, the organization clarified that it was more than 40%, but less than 43%.

The CDPQ did not want to reveal the identity of the speakers who raised the issue of “economic security”, saying it committed at the start of its mandate not to disclose the content of the comments in order to allow those consulted to “ Express freely “.

The CDPQ also contradicted Drainville

Earlier this week, the CDPQ also had to correct the MP for Lévis and Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, who wrongly asserted that “what the Fund calls a Rapid Bus Service (SRB), in fact, this are reserved lanes.

False, said the CDPQ in reaction in the pages of Quebec Journal. “The SRB recommended by CDPQ Infra as part of the CITÉ Plan is not limited to the use of reserved lanes, but aims to establish a real SRB, that is to say an articulated bus system which circulates in a right-of-way physically separated from automobile traffic lanes and allows for faster and more efficient service. »

Circumspect ministers

Minister Guilbault was not immediately available on Wednesday to react to the CDPQ’s correction.

Upon his arrival at the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, his colleague, the MP for Charlesbourg, Minister responsible for Infrastructure and the National Capital, Jonatan Julien, simply wished the journalists to “have a good day”.

For her part, the Minister of International Relations, Martine Biron, who is also the MP for Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, limited herself to saying: “We are working to make the third link. In my riding, people are happy. They want the third link. »

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