In a speech on Nov. 1, Premier Pauline Marois announced the Parti Québécois’ plans to electrify transportation in the province.
The PQ released a 113-page public document outlining a three-year plan that would cost $516 million.
Among other expenses, the government will invest $35 million to create the Institut du transport électrique, $50 million to attract companies in the field of electric transportation and spend $220 million to foster the electric transport industry.
“The goal is to make Québec a world leader in electric transportation,” said Marois, as quoted on the Quebec government website. “With this exciting project, we can create wealth here in Québec while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in order to attain our ambitious targets by 2020.”
The PQ claims the project will play an important role in creating new jobs; in her speech, Marois stated the plan will create 2,000 jobs.
The government believes the Institut du transport électrique would attract world class researchers to the province. As it states on their website, this institution would also encourage “research teams from Québec universities and specialized centres to participate in the research and build ties between researchers and industry in Québec and abroad.”
The plan’s objectives consist of making Quebec a global leader in the transportation electrification field, capitalizing on Quebec’s expertise in electricity, building the future around a high-performance sector and making Quebec a model to follow.
The major projects of the plan include adding more than 12,000 electric vehicles to the current 4.4 million personal vehicles in Quebec, over three years and incorporating an electric trolley-bus network into the province. Funding will also be made available to add 525 electric taxis to the roads.
Furthermore, a section of St. Michel would be electrified with 25 trams, the blue metro line would be extended, and a light rail — an electric railway system — would be created on the Champlain Bridge.
Marois noted only $30 million for this plan would be new money, while the rest would come from the Green Fund. Created in 2006, this fund’s goal is to support environmental measures aimed at promoting sustainable development.
While the intentions of this plan are valuable, several Quebecers have expressed their concern over the cost and budgeting. Coalition Avenir Québec economy critic, Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, told CTV Montreal,
“To try to accelerate the electrification of transportation could be very costly and we know our government is broke.”