City of Quebec: “Full support” for the tram, assures Jonatan Julien

Quebec City: “Full support» at the tramway, assures Jonatan Julien


Even if he mentioned last spring the condition of support for 50% + 1 of the population for the Quebec tramway, Jonatan Julien, new minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale, assured that the Legault government is “in full support” to the megaproject of the City of Quebec.  

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“Our government, we are in full support of the tramway project. We are in full support in the Réseau express de la Capitale. Without a shadow of a doubt, at the council of ministers, everyone is behind these projects (for) all the elements for improved mobility in the Quebec region, ”dropped Minister Julien on Thursday. morning, on the sidelines of a press briefing at the Hôtel de Ville de Québec where he was for the second consecutive day.  

Seated side by side, Mr. Julien and the mayor Marchand seemed to get along wonderfully and ensured that they had agreed on a way of proceeding to keep the channels of communication continuously open between them.  

Minister Julien also welcomed the communication “efforts” currently being made by the municipal administration to encourage “support” from the population. “Currently, the project is moving forward and we support it,” he insisted. 

Neither of the two politicians wanted to come forward as to a spending ceiling at the beyond which financial support for the tramway could no longer be assured. The two also ruled out the idea of ​​amputating a portion of the route from the project. 

Caution on the second phase

Asked moreover about a possible second phase of the tram that could go to Charlesbourg, Mr. Julien, who is himself a deputy for Charlesbourg, remained extremely cautious.  

“In Charlesbourg – and I made thousands of doors during the last campaign – the Metrobus service is super efficient. It works well. The delays and the transition of the sector if we want to go downtown, it works well, ”he said.

Asked about the same subject, Mayor Marchand also remained evasive. “Let's assume that there would be a second phase, we are in a commissioning in 2030, 2032, 2033 (…) In this sense, in the next ten years, we must fall back on what works well and to improve the bus service in particular”, he argued.  

Claiming to want a second phase of the tramway, he however added these reservations: “Where will she go? We'll see. When are we going to be ready to do it? We haven't gotten there. We did not talk about that to the government (…) I believe in a second phase for Charlesbourg, for Lebourgneuf and for the airport. Now, is it going to be a tram? Is it going to be a different service? We will take the time to assess it.” 

Broken commitment, deplores the opposition 

Exactly one year ago, during the last municipal election campaign, one of the ten promises of Quebec strong and proud (QFF), party of candidate Marchand, clearly mentioned the tramway as the mode chosen for the second phase.  

“Phase 2: The future development of the tramway will imperatively be oriented on the three new axes Center Vidéotron-Charlesbourg, Place Fleur de lys – Galeries de la Capitale – Lebourgneuf, direction Jean-Pierre International Airport Lesage (YQB)”, promised QFF. 

Alicia Despins, municipal councilor of Quebec first, was immediately worried about this outing of the mayor. “Not even a year ago, Mr. Marchand said that in 2022, he was going to define what, in his view, was the second phase of the tramway. Me, what I perceived today is that he was backing down on this electoral commitment there”, she strongly lamented.    

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