ROBERVAL, Que. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is giving Quebec municipalities $5 billion over the next ten years to support public infrastructure in the province.
The money will come from the renewed Gas Tax Fund Administrative Agreement with Quebec.
The fund will pay for projects such as public transit, wastewater infrastructure, local roads and bridges, tourism, sport and recreation.
“They will have $5 billion over ten years to allocate to projects of their choosing,” Harper said.
“Obviously there’s a process of prioritization but we’ve introduced about as much flexibility as municipalities can possibly ask for.”
The prime minister made the announcement on Wednesday in Premier Philippe Couillard’s picturesque riding of Roberval, about 300 kilometres north-west of Quebec City.
The two men looked relaxed as they stood behind podiums bearing the word “collaboration.”
This was Harper and Couillard’s first joint event since Couillard was elected premier in April.
The Quebec premier talked of warmer relations with Ottawa.
“We have a positive attitude in which we want to be part of the solution that will make Canada an even greater country than it is right now,” he told Global News.
“[We want to] make Quebec a leader in Canada again, a full participant in the federation, so on that basis we collaborate with other governments, and of course the federal government.”
Prime Minister Harper wrapped up a two-day visit in Quebec, which was seen by many as an attempt to make inroads in the province, before the October 2015 election.
Watch: Harper celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day
© Shaw Media, 2014
Timeline Quebec politics
Lawyers are seeking clarification about the rights of Quebecers who want access to justice while wearing religious attire after Rania El-Alloul was was refused her day in court by a judge because she was wearing a hijab. Read
The lawyer for Quebec prison escapee Francis Boucher is appealing to his client to surrender as quickly as possible. Read
The Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire has finally agreed to restore transportation for a disabled patient who needs lifesaving treatment three times a week. Read
After an outpouring of support, a crowdfunding site has been set up to help a single father in Ile-Perrot get access lifesaving treatment. Read