June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Forget social acceptability for the first section of the tramway, suggests Yvonne Charest

Forget social acceptability for the first section of the tramway, suggests Yvonne Charest

Convinced that the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) would recommend the Legault government to build a tramway for Infra Quebec, Yvon Charest, president of the J'ai ma passe group, said, “We have to agree to forget. 'social acceptance of the first section' of the structuring network.

This was the announcement made by the businessman, who has been campaigning for the tramway for years, at a press conference on Thursday.

“Every time there was a structuring network in the world, for the first time, there was no one who wanted it and people criticized it,” Latter recalled. Once they saw it, people raised their hands and said, “Remember. The next stretch has to be in my corner.

In October 2023, the popularity of the tram has decreased to 36%.

“take responsibility”

If the provincial and municipal authorities accept his recommendation, isn't the population of Quebec at risk of feeling that a project is being imposed on them? “What is the point of the government if we say every day that we are going to hold a referendum and then check what the people want? asked Mr. Charest. At a given moment, we elect individuals to assume long-term responsibilities for the collective well-being.

The latter parallels decisions made in the midst of a pandemic. “These are not purely populist decisions, they are taken during Covid, when the Prime Minister has the highest popularity rating.”

Method of funding

Invoking the consensus of recent years of studies on mobility in Quebec, Mr. Charest “system [de transport] Choose based on traffic. We know that the bus has overtaken. We know we don't have enough ridership for Metro. So it's easy for me to say it must be a tram,” he continued.

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Regarding the route, Yvonne Charest still believes that the “heart” should be between Laval University and Saint-Roch, as was also planned in the initial project. In his view, other phases of the tram should also be announced soon.

Confirming that the tramway's pause was not caused by the mode of transport or the route, Mr. Charest insists that the “financing method” is the cause of the problem. In this context, he said he was encouraged by Minister Julien's bill and Minister Guilbault's future transport agency, which would enable projects to be carried out in a “collaborative manner”. He believes that this will save time and money.

Several student union leaders participated in the march held on Thursday. They all emphasized the importance of having a tramway for Quebec.

What they said

“What we ask of the government is that it recognizes the need for action and respects its commitments in terms of mobility” – Daphne Savago, president of the Confederation of Student Associations of the University of Laval (CADEUL).

“The construction of a public transport network is the next major step in the development of our national capital” – Steve Maioulou, joined the Laval Students' Association of Higher Studies (AELIÉS).

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