Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Montreal Thursday morning to announce a $1.28-billion commitment for a rail project that will connect the city to its suburbs and to its international airport.
Trudeau made the transit announcement in the city’s central station where he was joined by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Michael Sabia, the head of the province’s public pension fund manager.
“The REM will reduce the numbers of cars on the road, which will decrease traffic and air pollution,” Trudeau said. “In fact, the investments we are making across the country in public transit will help us stay the course in the fight against climate change and meet our Paris commitments.”
WATCH BELOW: Trudeau says Montreal infrastructure project will reduce number of cars on the road
Once completed, the 67-kilometre automated light rail network will include 27 stations and operate operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week. It will link Montreal’s downtown to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as well as the areas north, south and west of the city.
The Quebec government and the Caisse de depot pension fund are also contributing to the $6-billion project. The Quebec government had been calling on Ottawa to provide at least $1 billion toward the rail project.
All that was left to solidify the project and give it the green light was funding from the federal government.
“We put forward over $180 billion in infrastructure spending in the coming decade or so because we know that investing in concrete projects that are going to make Canadian lives better is good for right now, for the jobs it will create, but is good for the long term for the growth of our communities and our economy,” said Trudeau.
WATCH: Montreal light-rail train project
Though construction for the highly anticipated REM network was slated to begin this summer, that has now been pushed back to the fall.
But the head of Quebec’s pension fund says the train will still be delivered on time.
“We can and we will deliver this project on time and in fact, delivering it on time and delivering it on budget,” said Caisse CEO Michael Sabia. “And I think that can and should be a source of pride for people here in Montreal, people in Quebec and across the country.”
In January 2015, Quebec and the Caisse announced the agreement to build the electric light-rail network.
— With files from The Canadian Press