Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “The deadline [to agree] is next Friday. So, we have one week left and it’s urgent,” said François Legault, in a message to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Prime Minister François Legault issued an ultimatum to the federal government on Thursday: in the absence of an agreement to release the $900 million for housing blocked in Ottawa, his government's economic update will be less generous.
< p>“Obviously, the bulk of the budget is going to be for housing. I think we all understand that this is the priority,” declared the head of government in the morning. He also confirmed that the economic update from the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, will be presented on November 7.
The Prime Minister issued an ultimatum to his counterpart Justin Trudeau regarding a $900 million envelope that is stuck in Ottawa, due to lack of agreement with the Quebec government. This amount corresponds to the share intended for Quebec in the Fund to accelerate housing construction, a 4 billion program created in 2022 by the federal government.
“The deadline [to agree] is next Friday. So, we have one week left and it is urgent,” said Mr. Legault, in a message to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Obviously, resources are limited in Quebec. So, the program that we are going to announce on November 7 would be less important [if the sums are not released],” he continued.
Housing, homelessness , climate
In the opinion of Mr. Legault, “the federal government is stubbornly insisting on all kinds of conditions” regarding this transfer. “Quebec will do its part, but we must be able to add significant sums to build housing. “There is a lack of it and it is not the time to have a dispute between the federal government and Quebec,” he argued.
Before him, Minister Girard recalled that his update economic would have three main axes, namely housing, homelessness and adaptation to climate change. He said he spoke Monday evening with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland about the $900 million transfer expected by Quebec.
“There is a time to discuss and there is a time to agree. We have reached the moment where we need to agree,” he said. “We are in a field of Quebec jurisdiction and the federal government sets conditions. This is unacceptable for us,” he also declared.
Quebec municipalities are putting pressure on Quebec to come to an agreement with Ottawa in order to release the transfer of 900 million. They deplore the fact that other Canadian cities can already launch projects, while Quebec municipalities have not yet been able to submit proposals.
As a reminder, the last major negotiation between Quebec and Ottawa in terms of housing, on the National Housing Strategy, took three years to come to fruition.
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