Montreal, Thursday 23 March 2017 – Projet Montréal is disappointed by the lack of concrete measures for Montreal in the 2017 federal budget. “We have immediate needs for families in Montreal, but unfortunately we will have to wait several years before seeing investments”, said Valérie Plante, leader of the Official Opposition at City Hall.
While the government announced a $1.5 billion investment in Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system, no specific announcement was made for Montreal. “I just can’t understand how Montreal’s immediate needs can be so blatantly ignored. Not only is there nothing specific, but the elimination of the tax credit for monthly or annual public transportation passes send the wrong message and increases the cost of public transit for users”, added Ms. Plante.
Projet Montréal is also deeply concerned about the reduction of the federal government’s share in public transit infrastructure investments, which will drop from 50% to 40% with this budget. “We just don’t have the resources to compensate for this 10% loss in infrastructure funding. It will be hard to fill the void”, said Valérie Plante.
As for the environment, the leader of Projet Montréal is skeptical that the investments intended for the protection of waterways will be sufficient. “President Trump just slashed the Great Lakes protection funding by $2.2 billion. This will directly affect the St. Lawrence River. I doubt that the $25 million announced by Ottawa will be enough to compensate for this loss”, concluded Valérie Plante.
Finally, Projet Montréal is pleased that the government announced $11 billion worth of investments in housing, but regrets that only $20 million of that amount will be invested in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.