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“Easier for mayors to beg in Quebec,” says Legault, who defends Guilbault

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, affirmed on Wednesday that “managing collective transport and transport companies is not a mission of the State”.

Prime Minister François Legault called mayors beggars on Thursday and renewed his confidence in his Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, following a controversy over the responsibility of the State by relation to public transport.

Faced with criticism from the opposition and the municipal world, Mr. Legault defended his minister, who affirmed that “managing the collective transport and transport companies, this is not a mission of the State”.

“I have complete confidence in Geneviève Guilbault,” he said during a press conference on a museum project that will replace that of the Espaces bleues.

At the end of Thursday morning, Ms. Guilbault wanted to clarify the meaning of her comments on the subject of public transport, expressed the day before while her ministry's budgetary appropriations were being studied in a parliamentary committee.

“There’s a question of nuance there. Perhaps my comments yesterday were poorly expressed or caused confusion, she said in a press briefing. But I want to be very, very clear. I maintain that the government should not interfere in the daily life of transport companies. Nevertheless, it is up to us to support public transportation. »

On Wednesday, Ms. Guilbault excluded collective transportation from state missions by answering questions from the opposition about the deficits of transportation companies, for which mayors are demanding funding from the Quebec government.


Thursday, Mr. Legault said that he was not surprised that elected officials municipal authorities are asking for his help to cover this shortfall of more than half a billion dollars.

The Prime Minister prided himself on being at the head of the government that has invested the most in public transportation. He repeated, as he has for years, that municipal employees receive salaries 30% higher than those of the Quebec government.

“Cities also need to do their part,” he said. I understand that mayors want more money from the Quebec government, I'm not falling behind. I've been in politics long enough to know that for mayors, it's always easier to beg in Quebec than to clean up their expenses. »

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A time for peace

Called on Thursday to comment on Minister Guilbault's remarks, the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, disavowed her. “I don’t have confidence in Ms. Guilbault because there is no vision of sustainable mobility,” he said during a press briefing at city hall.< /p>

Mr. Marchand accused her of having a retrograde vision that he associated with the early 20th century as depicted in a television soap opera.

“In my opinion, we are returning in the Time of peace and Joseph-Arthur, we go back a long way,” he said.

Quebec Solidaire MP Étienne Grandmont affirmed that the Quebec state finances the construction and maintenance of public transport infrastructure as well as service to users. “There is a historic deal between the government of Quebec, transport companies and users also to make public transport work,” he explained Thursday.

“Minister of Asphalt”

According to Québec solidaire, Ms. Guilbault’s remarks reflect a loss of the sense of the State in the context of climate change, where its interventions are important.

“The role that the minister gives herself, in fact, is very clear , said Mr. Grandmont afterwards in the room. She is the Minister of Asphalt, and that explains a lot of things. This explains why his government has never delivered any project to Quebec. »

Parti Québécois MP Pascal Paradis criticized Ms. Guilbault's conception of her responsibilities.

“That the operations are those of transport companies and therefore of cities is one thing, but we are told that it is not the government's responsibility to have a vision, to imbue this vision -there throughout Quebec, I find that… yes, the word is “surreal”,” he said at a press briefing.

Liberal MP Monsef Derraji for his part considered that the minister demonstrated her disinterest in her responsibilities.

“What a clumsy statement from the Minister of Sustainable Mobility! he said at a press briefing. She forgot that, in her title, there are “Transport” and “Sustainable Mobility”. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116