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Economy

Québec Solidaire wants government to invest $9B in public transportation to fight climate change

Quebec Solidaire, Quebec's second opposition party wants the government to double the environment ministry's budget and cut public transportation fares in half. Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019. .
Quebec Solidaire, Quebec's second opposition party wants the government to double the environment ministry's budget and cut public transportation fares in half. Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019. . Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News

Québec Solidaire (QS) says the provincial government needs to invest more to tackle climate change in its upcoming budget.

READ MORE: Quebec’s CAQ government to present first budget March 21

Environment Minister Benoit Charette wouldn’t say on Wednesdat how much money the government is willing to put aside for environmental initiatives. On Thursday, the second opposition gave the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government a few suggestions.

QS would like to see the government double the environment ministry’s budget and cut public transportation fares in half. It also wants Quebec to invest the same amount it is currently investing in roads in public transportation projects: $9 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

The party says even if other countries aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to fighting climate change, Quebec needs to be a leader.

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“Does Mr. Legault want to sit with the passive governments? I hope not. Let’s see in a week, but what we are saying here today is there is a clear and present danger that requires clear and present action. This is an action,” said QS MNA, Vincent Marissal.

READ MORE: Liberal finance critic concerned about CAQ overspending in upcoming Quebec budget

“We know the fight against climate change is not going to be cheap,” Marissal added. “But the price to pay if we don’t do anything is going to be much higher.”

“It’s not rocket science,” he said.

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READ MORE: Québec Solidaire MNAs refuse to publicly pledge allegiance to the Queen

All 10 QS MNAs will be taking part in Friday’s student protest for the climate, an international movement where students around the world are planning on walking out of school to protest inaction on climate change.

Charette said he will not be participating in the protests, but QS co-spokesperson Manon Massé said it was more important that the government commit funds to fighting climate change in the March 21 Quebec budget.

“That’s the most important decision,” Massé said.

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