Prime Minister Trudeau makes an announcement regarding Montréal Metro’s Blue Line extension
Thank you, Philippe, for such a warm welcome and for this wonderful partnership we have been fostering for years and are now ready to deliver on for Montrealers, for Quebeckers, and for all Canadians. I’m very happy to be here with you today. It is a great pleasure to be back here in Montreal alongside Premier Couillard and Mayor Plante for this important announcement. I’d also like to point out our local MP, Nicola Di Iorio… Where are you, Nicola… there you are, Nicola, as well as Pablo Rodriguez and Filomena Rotiroti, who are doing excellent work for the people in their ridings. I’d also like to say hello to some other federal MPs who are here: Marc Miller, our Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and MP for Ville-Marie; Anju Dhillon, MP for Dorval; Emmanuella Lambropoulos, MP for Saint-Laurent; and two other friends, Thomas Mulcair, MP for Outremont, and Mario Beaulieu, MP for Pointe-de-lÎle. It’s great to see you here.
I am particularly pleased that you were able to join us today because this project, extending the blueline all the way to Anjou, is a major issue for Montrealers who live in the east island. It is something I have been hearing since the start of my foray into politics nearly 10 years ago, which started in Papineau. The blueline means a lot to us in Papineau. I am proud to say that, currently, the last seven stops are in my riding of Papineau; and, according to plans, there will be at least one more stop in Papineau once the line is extended. And we are very, very proud. I spent a lot of time in those seven metro stations during elections, and I am pleased that an eighth will be added eventually, assuming I’m still in the area. I promised Sophie that we’d think about it.
I am certain that is the case for all of the MPs here today, for Filomena, Nicola, Pablo, and others. For years, the east island has been underserved by existing transit lines, despite the fact that more and more families are choosing to settle here. There are parents who work downtown, young people who are studying at one of the many universities or training centres in Montréal, immigrants who have family in other parts of the city. The demand for reliable, efficient and affordable public transit is greater than ever. It must better meet everyone’s needs, including the middle class and all those working so hard to join the middle class.
All levels of government agree that it is necessary to complete this project and improve quality of life for the residents while also making our communities greener. Modernizing public transit such as the metro, is a crucial step that major cities must take in order to combat climate change.
These are important priorities for my government and my counterparts. That said, we need to have everything in place to ensure this project is successful. That is why the federal government is proud to be investing $16 million to help develop the business case and prepare detailed plans for extending the Montreal metro blueline. The business case will help finalize the financial make-up of the project and kick start construction. That, along with the Quebec government’s contribution, means that there is $32 million set aside for this key step in the process.
Today’s announcement is part of the federal government’s commitment to make our communities even better places to call home, and we know that that starts with infrastructure. Once completed, the blue line extension will mean a faster commute, less time in traffic, and more money in peoples’ pockets as they trade their cars for public transit. There’s no doubt that the need for better, more efficient public transport is shared amongst communities big and small, right across the country. Canadians need transit to get them to work on time in the morning, and home for dinner at night. It’s that simple.
That is why our government has approved more than 500 projects throughout the province since the start of our mandate. That amounts to $1.7 billion. In the greater Montreal area, those projects include updating transit systems. We have also earmarked an additional $5 billion for the construction, expansion and improvement of transit infrastructure, which includes an ambitious project, the réseau express métropolitain, in the second phase of this agreement. We are currently working with the provincial government to finalize that agreement and get projects started. We are anxious to get to work, improve quality of life for Montrealers and make our communities even better.