April 14, 2024

Public transport corporations can not provide their companies free to seniors or enhance the salaries of their executives and anticipate the state to then take in their deficits, says Minister Geneviève Guilbault.

• Additionally learn: Tram: Guilbault questions authorities funding of price overruns

“It can not go on like this, we’ve to make use of public funds sparingly,” emphasised the Transport Minister when presenting her “ultimate provide” of 265 million US {dollars} with the intention to collectively offset the anticipated deficits of the transport corporations.

Even when cities accepted this proposal, the elemental downside wouldn’t be solved, argued Ms. Guilbault, deploring the truth that transport corporations ask the federal government yearly for assist to steadiness their budgets.

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Because of this, the Minister intends to fee an exterior firm to hold out impartial audits of the ten transport corporations and the Regional Metropolitan Transport Company with the intention to discover methods to scale back their bills or enhance their revenues.

Ms. Guilbault recalled that it’s not the federal government, however municipalities and transport corporations themselves which have management over their spending. “They make their selections,” she mentioned, citing examples that she mentioned warrant “introspection” by these organizations.

“If we enhance salaries, government salaries through the pandemic, when nobody is on public transportation anymore and we want cash to fill our price range gaps… Issues like that exist,” she mentioned.

The minister additionally cited the choice to make public transport free for seniors in Montreal for instance. “In a really perfect world it will be free for everybody, nevertheless it comes with a price. After which we flip to the Quebec authorities and ask: “Fund this for us,” she lamented.

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In the meantime, Quebec’s provide of $265 million falls wanting the $400 million the cities are asking for. The 2 events additionally don’t agree on the scale of the transport corporations’ deficits; the Legault authorities estimates them at 376 million and the municipalities at 532 million.

To justify this distinction in calculation, Minister Guilbault confirmed that her authorities had discovered $72 million to chop the ARTM, for which she was accountable.

And to municipalities that warned final week that there was a danger of profit cuts if Qubéec’s contribution was not there, Ms Guilbault responded on Friday that there have been different methods to work than “scare individuals”.

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