The support of Plant in the REM disappoints

News 9 February, 2018
  • Photo Courtesy
    The train line from the REM from the center of the city of Montreal and the South Shore is expected to be in service in the summer of 2021. The work should start next April.

    Matthew Payen

    Thursday, February 8, 2018 09:22

    Thursday, February 8, 2018 23:20

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    The support of the mayor Valerie Plant at the project of electric train of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has disappointed some of his former supporters, who had yet displayed more reserves during the last election campaign.

    The mayor of Montreal has not hidden his enthusiasm Thursday morning at the press conference announcing the choice of consortium which will put on the rail express Network metropolitan (REM), the light rail of the Fund.

    “The sky is blue, it picks up the snow for two days and you talk about mobility. This is the happiness “, has launched Mrs Plant, who spoke alongside the first minister Philippe Couillard, the federal Transport minister, Marc Garneau and the boss of the Caisse de dépôt Michael Sabia.

    Even if the Fund has introduced minor changes to the original project, the mayor has spoken of a ” substantial gains for the population.” She is pleased, in particular, of the promise of the Fund to share the use of the tunnel of Mont-Royal with other means of transport.

    A good speech is different from the one held by Mrs Plant in a letter that she had sent in January 2017, prime minister Justin Trudeau.

    “While massive investment in public transit montreal is expected to improve the mobility of residents of neighborhoods that are landlocked and currently underserved, both in the east than in the west of the island. In its current state, the REM does not respond satisfactorily to this goal, ” said the future candidate for projet Montréal.

    “False promise “

    For Jean Fortier, who was withdrawn during the last campaign in favour of Valerie Plant, this change in the discourse shows the weakness of the policy. “I do not want, but I’m disappointed,” he said.

    Mr. Fortier also believes that the path proposed by the Caisse continues to foster urban sprawl.

    “The REM passes through sparsely populated areas and there is a risk of harm to some of the existing lines without providing any solution to the under-served areas “, says the former candidate.

    Mr. Fortier does not believe in the sharing of the tunnel of Mont-Royal. “This is a false promise ! The technology to make it roll two means of transport on the same rails does not exist “, said he.

    Without wanting to be too forward on the subject, Réjean Benoit, a member of the coalition Trainsparence opposed to the REM, is also said to be “disappointed” by the support of Mrs. Plant in the REM.

    “Especially as I’m a co-founder of the party, Project Montreal,” he says.


    For the architect and urban planner Michael Fish, he is clear that “this change will create the chicane” in the party of Mrs. Plant.

    “I do not know a single independent expert who supports this project. Funding lack of transparency, and it may be very expensive to future generations. This will be worse than the olympic Stadium, ” it warns.

    When asked about the change of address of the mayor, the head of transport to the executive committee of Montreal, Éric Alan Caldwell, says that the speech of the mayor remains constant.

    “She always said that she wanted the REM to be a good project for Montrealers,” insists the elected.

    This was announced Thursday

    • The line of the train towards the South Shore will be in service in the summer of 2021. For the lines to the north and to the west, the time frame is not specified
    • The project will cost $ 6.3 billion and not $ 6 billion. The additional cost will be borne by the Fund. The cost of the ride for passengers is not specified
    • One of the 27 planned stations is deleted and the entry in Montreal from the Champlain bridge is no longer underground
    • SNC Lavalin great spell winning as it is part of two consortiums that won the tenders
    • The train keeps the name of REM, however, the acronym no longer means electrical Network of metropolitan, but express Network metropolitan