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Montréal soumet pour 1,2G$ de projets à Ottawa


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Montréal soumet pour 1,2G$ de projets à Ottawa

 

15 janvier 2009 - 06h59

Noée Murchison et Mathieu Bélanger

Le Journal de Montréal

 

Piscines, bibliothèques, pistes cyclables et logement social, le maire de Montréal proposera aujourd'hui à Ottawa de nouveaux chantiers d'une valeur de 1,2 milliard de dollars pour affronter la crise économique.

 

«Ce sont des nouveaux projets qu'on ne peut pas faire parce qu'on n'a pas assez d'argent», a dit Gérald Tremblay, en entrevue avec Le Journal de Montréal.

 

À la demande du gouvernement fédéral, Montréal a dressé une liste de travaux prêts à débuter en 2009 et 2010 afin de créer environ 16 000 emplois dans la région métropolitaine.

 

Si Ottawa accepte de les financer, ces travaux s'ajouteraient aux investissements déjà prévus au budget de la Ville et aux 3,64G$ consacrés aux infrastructures dans le Programme triennal d'immobilisations pour 2009-2011.

 

Le parc Jean-Drapeau, les musées Nature et Pointe-à-Callière pourraient notamment recevoir un tiers de milliard de dollars. Les rues, les boulevards et les pistes cyclables exigeraient des investissements de 172M$.

 

Hier

 

La liste d'épicerie de Montréal a déjà été présentée à plusieurs ministres conservateurs et aux partis d'opposition. Le maire espère toucher l'aide fédérale au plus tôt, «hier» si possible.

 

«Si le gouvernement veut réellement créer de l'emploi, accélérer le développement économique et améliorer la qualité de vie, c'est une occasion unique de le faire», lance Gérald Tremblay.

 

Montréal participera aujourd'hui à une rencontre avec les maires des grandes villes à Ottawa pour en discuter.

 

À la grandeur du pays, la Fédération canadienne des municipalités (FCM) propose plus de 1000 projets prêts à être mis en chantier dès le printemps pour créer 150 000 emplois.

 

C'est la recette de la FCM pour permettre au Canada de traverser la crise économique actuelle.

 

«Il n'y a pas de temps à perdre», a indiqué le président de la FCM et maire de Sherbrooke, Jean Perrault.

 

«Le gouvernement fédéral doit inclure le financement des infrastructures à son budget de relance. Il doit aussi prévoir des mécanismes pour que les fonds soient distribués à temps pour le début de la saison de construction en 2009», a-t-il plaidé.

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Cities can't afford to pay third for projects: Tremblay

 

By JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette;

January 16, 2009

 

Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay has a message for any federal politician who thinks the costs of an infrastructure program to jump-start the Canadian economy can be split three ways between Ottawa, the provinces and their municipalities.

 

"If you're coming out with something like that, forget it," he said, during a telephone interview yesterday as he drove back from a meeting of big city mayors in Ottawa, "We've already put out our money (into infrastructure) ... we've increased our capital expenditure budget and we can't do it."

 

Tremblay's remarks follow a day of closed door meetings with mayors in the morning and federal politicians in the afternoon as Canada's cities lobby for what they hope will be a quickly delivered slice of billions in infrastructure funds expected to be contained in the federal budget scheduled to be tabled on Jan. 27.

 

The mayors met with each other, federal cabinet ministers as well as opposition politicians in an effort to sell Ottawa on backing about 1,000 infrastructure projects the Federation of Canadian Municipalities contends would create more than 100,000 jobs nationwide.

 

Tremblay says his city can get moving on $1 billion worth of projects, including the renovation of sports and community centres, libraries as well as road work.

 

But while the city has a plan, Tremblay said he was "worried" by comments made by fellow mayors during yesterday's meeting that some federal ministers had suggested any infrastructure program would have to be funded equally by Ottawa, the provinces and the municipalities.

 

With $3 billion of city funds already earmarked for infrastructure programs over the next three years, Montreal simply doesn't have any extra cash of its own to spend on additional projects, Tremblay said.

 

The mayor was also concerned by what he perceived as a "lack of feedback" from the federal government over just how quickly projects would need to be carried out or what projects would qualify for funding.

 

"A large amount of the projects on our list involve maintenance and renovations. Are they acceptable?" Tremblay asked. "Maintenance and repairs represent $500 million of the $1 billion we're talking about.

 

"If (Ottawa) wants 'new' projects, we're all going to have problems."

 

In Ottawa, the mayors said the government should not introduce any more programs that are similar to the Building Canada fund, since it sets criteria that make it difficult for them to access the money. The cities have compiled a list of more than 1,000 projects in areas such as public transit, housing, roads and sewers, that could get underway in 2009, creating thousands of jobs, if they had new investments from the federal government.

 

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