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Quebec transport projects get no money from federal budget 2017

Quebec won’t get transport funding from federal budget 2017
WATCH: The federal government has not committed any money for important transportation projects in Montreal in its budget. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, Quebec politicians are now fighting about whose fault it is.

The Quebec National Assembly has adopted a motion to express disappointment with the federal budget after Ottawa did not commit any money for important transportation projects in Montreal.

The motion passed by a 95-0 margin Thursday, with two abstentions from members of the left-wing Quebec Solidaire because they considered the motion too favourable to the private sector.

READ MORE: Quebec holds out for transportation dollars in federal budget

All the Liberal cabinet ministers and members of the legislature who were present voted in favour, which was tabled by the Parti Québécois‘ (PQ) Nicolas Marceau.

Premier Philippe Couillard was absent as he was en route to inaugurating a pediatric centre elsewhere in the province.

The motion will be sent to Ottawa to show Quebec’s “great disappointment” at what it calls the absence of federal commitment in areas the province considers priorities.

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READ MORE: Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao to present balanced budget for 2017-18

The Couillard government had been holding out for funding for the electric train project — in the hopes that construction could get underway by the end of the year — and extending the Metro’s blue line.

Thursday, the PQ started a debate over which party is stronger at negotiating with Ottawa.

PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée argued Quebec’s Liberal MPs are missing in action, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was elected in the Montreal-area riding of Papineau.

READ MORE: Proposed Montreal electric train project growing in size and cost

“I think he’s been completely engulfed in this Canadian culture that says Quebec has enough, you shouldn’t give anything to Quebec and even if you just give its fair share to Quebec you’re going to lose votes in the rest of Canada,” said Lisée.

“I think that’s where we are. At least when the Parti Québécois is in power, we are not loved, but we are feared.”

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Thursday he expects to have a private conversation with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau over the lack of funding, saying the decision on funding is not final.

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“I’m trying to be polite here. I don’t want to ruffle Mr. Lisée’s feathers, but he’s wrong, he’s just totally wrong,” Leitao said.

READ MORE: 5 things feminists hope to see in the federal budget

The Liberals said they hope to still convince Trudeau’s government to put the head office of Canada’s new infrastructure bank in Montreal.

— with files from The Canadian Press.