Quebec’s political class is holding its breath for the federal budget Wednesday. The Couillard government deliberately postponed its own budget in hopes Trudeau might fork over dollars for transportation projects.
Premier Philippe Couillard has high hopes the federal budget will deliver for Quebec on three transportation projects — the proposed electric train project — and the blue metro line in Montreal, as well as the plans for rapid bus service in Quebec City.
Quebec’s political parties highlighted what they thought were the province’s most important needs, but will Trudeau’s government listen?
“Listen, as long as there’s a federal system, we’re condemned to hope, even if we’re often disappointed,” said Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-François Lisée.
Even the premier accepts that his expectations might not be met: “We will have a detailed presentation in our budget and we would hope to have the same degree of precision in the federal budget,” Couillard said. “But … federal budgets are not rich in details.”
The federal government plans to put money in a proposed Canadian infrastructure bank that will help municipalities access money more affordably. Montreal is in competition with Toronto for the head office.
“We have the most expertise,” said CAQ leader François Legault.