(Quebec) The elected Caquistes had to make an act of contrition to the voters of the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches after having broken their flagship commitment to build a third highway link between Quebec and Lévis. In tears, Bernard Drainville apologized while Éric Caire chose to stay on.
“It’s a very emotional subject,” Minister Bernard Drainville said while appearing before the media on Thursday.
In tears, the member for Lévis had to stop before resuming. “I first want to apologize to the people of Lévis and the people of Chaudière-Appalaches. I have made a commitment and I am unable to deliver,” the Minister added.
The Minister of Education claimed to have made a “sincere” commitment and that at no time during the election campaign did he have any indication that the project would be changed. The latest version of the third link was presented to him on Monday, he said.
Bernard Drainville maintains that traffic was “sick” last summer. “It was appalling, and I sincerely believed that the traffic we were seeing this summer was the new reality of traffic in Quebec. I realized after the fact that obviously a good part of this traffic was related to the work last summer [on the Pierre-Laporte bridge], ”said Mr. Drainville.
Despite this about-face, he continues to believe “that one day” there will be a new highway link between the two shores. He says he is “comfortable” with the fact that the project remains downtown to downtown and that it will “raise several billions from the federal government”.
The day was not easy for the Minister of Education. In the afternoon, he slammed the door of the Blue Room after accusing Liberal education critic Marwah Rizqy of “playing demagoguery” during the adjournment debate.
Minister Éric Caire said in 2017: “If there is a decline in the CAQ, I resign”.
However, he remains in office, and will instead go to meet his constituents to sell them the new public transport tunnel project. What is his word worth today? “You’re talking about 2018. Voters have renewed their trust in me ever since. What is my word worth? I will let my constituents decide what happens next. I think the decision to be made is the project we are presenting to Quebecers,” he said.
“The costs of the project have changed significantly, but in my soul and conscience, today, the math means that I cannot defend this project,” he added.
“When I ran for politics, I knew I would have some days that were a little bit more difficult than others. I did not expect it to come so quickly, to be so brutal,” said Minister Martine Biron, first elected in 2022 in Chute-de-la-Chaudière. Ms. Biron even said she was “hurt” after campaigning on the Third Link in her riding.
The member for Bellechasse, Stéphanie Lachance, did not defend the version of the third link presented Thursday. “For Bellechasse, it’s not a winning formula. Bellechasse, as you know, is a very large territory which is served by the automobile. Bellechasse is 35,000 citizens traveling by car,” she lamented.