MONTREAL – Here are some facts about the Liberals’ northern-development plan for Quebec, dubbed “Plan Nord”:
– Focuses on broad development – including mining, energy and tourism – across an area north of the 49th parallel about twice the size of France.
– Liberals project it will attract $80 billion in private and public investment to Quebec’s northern over the next 25 years.
– Liberals say it will create 20,000 jobs in Quebec over that period.
– Plan is to invest $2.1 billion in public money on infrastructure – such as roads and airports – that will ease access to faraway regions.
– Liberals say project will eventually pump $14 billion into provincial coffers and make Quebec a contributor to equalization.
– Parti Quebecois opposition calls current plan a cheap selloff of the province’s resources.
– PQ wants a 30 per cent surtax, as in Australia, on profits beyond a certain level.
– PQ criticizes government for investing so much public money to build roads for private business.
– Canadian National Railway is working with mining companies and Caisse pension manager to study possibility of building rail line, with estimated cost of $5 billion.