Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale, Jonatan Julien
Two days after the resounding cancellation of the Quebec City tramway, the government invited Mayor Bruno Marchand on Friday to applaud a new dream: the launch, next week, of a “major international ideation competition” presented “ as the first official stage of phase IV of the Samuel-De Champlain promenade.”
The first snow which covered the Maizerets estate, Friday morning, seemed at times less cold than the icy atmosphere between Bruno Marchand and the minister responsible for the National Capital, Jonatan Julien. This self-proclaimed “unfailing ally” of the tramway a year ago immediately addressed his defection.
“It’s a difficult week,” he said. I am not excluding what happened, quite the contrary, but we should not focus on these specific situations. »
I am not excluding what happened, quite the contrary, but we should not dwell on these specific situations.
— Jonatan Julien
“Audacity” and “ambition”
The time was rather “audacity” and “ambition” when the CAQ announced the contribution of international genius to extend the Samuel promenade -From Champlain to the east of the capital, a project long hoped for by the population of this sector without access to the Saint-Laurent.
Nothing impossible, according to Jonatan Julien, starting with the conversion of the six-lane highway which currently scars the coastline into an urban boulevard which would have four, a project unanimously demanded at city hall.
“If we are here today, it is because we are ready to do it,” guaranteed the minister.
Without promising a timetable, Minister Jonatan Julien assures that the government will act quickly in carrying out the fourth phase. “We are going there with good heart,” he assured.
At his side, the mayor of Quebec looked downcast: his heart was clearly not in it.< /p>
“They will respond”
Excluded on Wednesday from the structuring network of his own city in favor of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Bruno Marchand now places the CAQ faced with its own decision. “All questions related to this project will be directed to the minister,” he repeated on Friday. It’s a government decision: they take the ball, they will respond, they will lead the process and we will talk about it again. »
At the CAQ, requirements that were once clear when the City was responsible for the tramway file are becoming less clear now that the matter is in its hands. Minister Jonatan Julien had himself set a criterion of social acceptability which he now refuses to apply. “At a minimum, it’s 50% plus one,” he said in the spring of 2022. On Friday, his response became more evasive. “Social acceptability is a complex notion,” he indicated, without giving a figure.
Mayor Bruno Marchand refused to take stock of the government in Quebec for five years . In the National Assembly, the official opposition took the count: “It’s zero.”
“Broken promises, procrastination, wasted time, that’s François Legault’s assessment,” decried the interim Liberal leader, Marc Tanguay. At Quebec City Hall, the first opposition draws the same conclusion. “The CAQ is looking for achievements in Quebec,” observed its leader, Claude Villeneuve. They're in a bit of a catch-up mode. »