(Gatineau) The municipal elected officials who were hoping for good news and especially dollars from Quebec for adaptation to climate change remained on their appetite, Thursday, at the foundations of the Union of municipalities of Quebec (UMQ).

After a strong speech and pressing demands from the new President of the Union, the Mayor of Varennes Martin Damphousse, Prime Minister François Legault came to repeat what he has been saying for days: his government does not have the room for maneuver required to comply with these requests.

At most, the Prime Minister won the applause of about a thousand elected municipal officials who came to hear him in the concert hall of the Lac Leamy casino when he promised a new law on expropriation, demanded for a long time by the municipal world.

Previously, Martin Damphousse was outspoken, saying that municipalities were “particularly disappointed with the last budget”, when they expected some form of compensation for the sharp increases in their costs due to inflation. .

Invoking the multiplication of natural disasters, he revived the request issued by the UMQ last September for 2 billion over five years for adaptation to climate change, arguing that each dollar invested now to protect oneself results in savings of $ 15. long-term: “We need more money, it’s urgent!” “, he launched under the applause fed.

The list of complaints from the president of the UMQ has grown, as he criticized the government for its disengagement with homelessness, the excessive burden imposed on municipalities for the operation of public transport systems.

In terms of housing, he denounced the complexity of government programs, which he described as inapplicable in the current inflationary context, when some 75,000 new dwellings should be urgently built per year.

François Legault then listed the measures already put in place by his government, calculating all the amounts devoted to the Plan for a green economy. He added those dedicated to housing.

“There is no more leeway in Quebec than in the municipalities,” he reaffirmed after his speech, during a question-and-answer session with host Marie-Claude Lavallée.

The Prime Minister returned to a speech that he constantly makes, that the way to increase revenues, which goes just as much for municipalities, is to create wealth.

However, he made it clear that he did not want to anticipate future announcements from his ministers. That of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest, was to address the assizes later Thursday while her colleague responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau is expected Friday. Mr. Legault has also been promising for a few days that his Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, must announce additional sums for adaptation to climate change soon.