Quebec has introduced a new bill to boost the economy and mitigate the economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea is to notably accelerate 202 infrastructure projects which have been designated as “economic recovery projects”. Among these, there are 90 health projects, 34 road projects and 16 public transit projects. In Outaouais, nine of these projects are located in Outaouais.
The president of the Conseil du trésor, Christian Dubé, has promised to shorten the deadlines before starting these projects.
Quebec will present an additional economic statement to this announcement on June 19 on the state of public finances. The Minister of Finance, Éric Girard, specifies what will be contained in this additional statement.
The bill also wishes to grant the Government of Quebec the ability and powers necessary to revive the Quebec economy, mobilizing all government authorities to contribute to this recovery. The bill is part of the advancement of investments planned in the Quebec Infrastructure Plan for the current year, of the order of $ 3 billion. The government is thus giving itself the necessary levers to accelerate the start of construction of several projects.
The approximately 200 infrastructure projects which will be the subject of acceleration measures and which are designated for their potential to contribute to the recovery of the economy, in all regions of Quebec. For example, the construction of seniors’ houses and new schools, the modernization of health facilities and public transit initiatives are among the designated projects that would benefit from these measures. Also, any private project which would contribute to the revival of the Quebec economy or which would aim to increase medical self-sufficiency or food autonomy in Quebec could also benefit from acceleration measures. These measures are not intended to reduce or modify the existing standards or the rigor and integrity applicable to the usual authorization processes, but rather to speed up the procedures that allow the implementation of projects.
The 202 projects that have been identified are in line with government priorities and have the potential to create wealth in the communities.
In education, 39 projects to renovate primary and secondary schools will be accelerated and new, more modern schools will be built.
In health, there will be a total of 90 projects. 42 different projects consist of the renovation of CHSLDs and the expansion of certain hospitals. The government will begin construction on 48 Seniors’ Homes across Quebec.
The bill will allow 34 road projects to start more quickly while 16 public transit projects are affected by the new measures. The REM extension project is part of it and the extension of certain metro lines will be carefully analyzed.
A total of 23 other projects promoting economic recovery have been designated, such as the Gaspésie rail network and the Appalaches-Maine line from Hydro-Québec.