Third Link: the PLQ and QS want a parliamentary commission
While there was no question of tolls in recent months to finance the third link, the Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, is now studying the possibility of having one. A possibility that made the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) leap. The opposition tabled, on Tuesday, an order of initiative to the Transport Committee for having “the right time”.
In an interview with QUB radio , Mr. Bonnardel suggested that the chosen option, including a toll, would depend on a federal financial contribution to the construction of the third link, whose route was announced in June . “If this is not the case, we have to evaluate the PPP [public-private partnership] options,” he explained.
“It’s not an option I favor. Now it’s my job to put all the options on the table, “he said of the toll.
The MP and Liberal spokesman for transportation, Gaétan Barrette, was quick to react to this prospect in a press briefing in the National Assembly. “You know, one of the most amazing scenarios I heard yesterday [Monday] from Mr. Bonnardel, this is a project in PPP toll, it was mentioned. This is the bridge of the 25 in Montreal, I can tell you that it is a success for fluidity. There is nobody on the bridge, it is too expensive, “said Barrette.
An eight billion tunnel?
According to Mr. Barrette, the Future Coalition Québec (CAQ) government project could cost the Quebec population up to $ 8 billion. “I would like to point out that we are investing in this project, in a project office, as we speak, more than $ 400 million, that the project is in its planning phase and, given the comments that has kept Minister Bonnardel at QUB radio, so it is necessary to shed light. ”
For the moment, the CAQ has still not given an estimate of the costs of the project. For the spokesperson of the PLQ in terms of transportation, evoking a toll gives the impression of sending “a balloon”. “The government has announced a lot and now it is badly taken. We do not make statements like that, without something here. ”
Mr. Barrette asks the Committee on Transportation and the Environment to hear the director of the project office of the Quebec-Lévis tunnel, Frédéric Pellerin. “In a parliamentary committee, the minister refused to answer all the questions we asked, on the pretext that it was too early in the first place, and the minister’s response has always been:” you’ll know when it’s time “. Well, I think the time is here today, especially since in the parliamentary committee the minister also refused to hear Mr. Pellerin, who is the director of the project office. ” he argued.
“A bottomless pit”
Québec solidaire also joined the PLQ in asking for answers. According to the MP for Taschereau, Catherine Dorion, “the CAQ does not know how to finance,” this election promise. “This is a project that is becoming lame and increasingly expensive. It serves the interests of whom? “, She asks.
For Ms. Dorion, the third link, if it were built, would likely become “a bottomless pit of public money”. “We have known too much in Quebec especially in PPP stories.”