(Quebec) François Legault will not apologize for breaking his election promise to build a third highway link. Citizens waiting on bridges at rush hour will have to “admit that the delay is shorter” today and that it is no longer justified to invest billions in this project, he said .
“I understand the disappointment, but my responsibility is with the new data to make the best decision for Quebecers. That’s what I do. I will not apologize for making the best decision for Quebecers even if it is a difficult decision, ”he said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
It was his first media outing since the official announcement of the abandonment of the CAQ promise. During the election campaign, Mr. Legault asked Montrealers to stop “looking down on the people of Quebec and Lévis” and asserted that the erection of a highway tunnel was absolutely necessary, with or without a study.
“We had data. We also thought that the impacts of the pandemic, of the drop in traffic, were temporary. […] We had data, we had made a decision,” he explained.
But on April 5, during a meeting with Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault, he was convinced that the project was too expensive for the benefits society would derive from it.
“We are seeing a significant drop in travel times, to such an extent that I think that financially it is not justifiable to make a third highway link given the delays that can no longer be considered unreasonable between Quebec and Lévis”, explained the Prime Minister.
Like the member for Lévis and Minister of Education Bernard Drainville, François Legault is in a hurry to advance the public transport tunnel project between Quebec and Lévis, which replaces the highway version.
“I know Bernard said that. My desire is to go as fast as possible while doing it correctly. But first you have to establish what the mode will be, and move forward as quickly as possible,” he said. He believes that in three and a half years, “we should be able to do a bit.”
He believes that this is the “best scenario” so that “people who do Quebec-Lévis evening and morning can do so by public transport. »
“Otherwise they can continue to use their car on both bridges within a time frame that is not unreasonable,” he said.
He received rather coldly the request of MP and Minister Martine Biron, who believes that “the elevator must go up” for the Chaudière-Appalaches region, which must be compensated for the abandonment of this promise.
Mr. Legault said that unlike other governments that preceded the CAQ, he would not fund projects that are not necessary for political reasons.
“In the past there have been parties that have been in government and have done what they have done. I make sure that all regions, including Chaudière-Appalaches, including the Capitale-Nationale, whether in transportation, health or education, that urgent and necessary projects, that we do them, “he said. -he says.
The 17 regions of Quebec will be treated equally, he said.