Quebec solidaire wants separate bill for blue line on Montreal metro


MONTREAL -- Quebec solidaire is asking the CAQ government for a separate bill to start construction on the blue metro line in Montreal. 

The bill would speed up the expropriation procedure necessary to start work, the party says. 

A bill tabled in the spring by the CAQ government – Bill 61 – aimed to speed up 202 infrastructure projects in the goal of reviving the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic – and the blue line was part of that plan.

Under Bill 61, the government also aimed to fast-track the construction of schools, roads and other public transport networks. 

However, in response to significant criticism, the Legault government abandoned Bill 61 and now intends to table a new one. 

For Quebec solidaire, the extension of the blue line was “the biggest piece of Bill 61” and “the only one that needs expropriation” and therefore should be the subject of its own bill. 

“What we want is a separate bill, amended very quickly. On that, I think all the parties will agree because everyone says they want to finish this project,” said Vincent Marissal, deputy for Rosemont and spokesperson for the economy. “We have to get out of politics, because the problem with the blue line is not engineering, it is not construction and it is certainly not the need, the problem is politics.” 

Marissal said “the elected officials can adopt this in the first days of the new session next week, it is that simple.” 

A similar request was made by Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante about 10 days ago.

“We need a special law to accelerate the expropriation process and plan development around the stations as quickly as possible,” Plante said on Twitter. 

“It is high time that the blue line project comes to life. The population in the east has been waiting for it since 1988. Following the failure of Bill 61, we expect that there will be one on the table for the start of the parliamentary term,” she continued. 

The 5.8-kilometre extension of the blue line would add five metro stations from Saint-Michel station to Anjou.