The Legault government’s abandonment of Phase IV of the Samuel De Champlain Promenade has not gone unnoticed by Quebec City Hall. Angry at Geneviève Guilbault, the opposition leader even called her “the worst minister of the Capitale-Nationale that we have ever had”.
• Also read: Promenade Samuel-De Champlain: Phase IV of the CAQ project forgotten
Mayor Bruno Marchand, who heard the news from the pages of the protocol At the end of the week he was more dovish than counterpart Claude Villeneuve, voicing a “loss” for Quebec and a “disappointment” for the Beauport sector.
Mr Marchand said he wanted to know more and know “all the details”, but from the start he judged “that we shouldn’t question it”, recalling that this sector is developing without the will of the Quebec government could.
The next election campaign will be an opportunity to remind him of that, he said. “There is something great that can be done on the east end of town to give citizens access to the river again. For me, phase IV of the walk is part of it.”
Villeneuve “without knowledge”
Outraged, the leader of the official opposition at City Hall, Claude Villeneuve, says he was “unconscious” when he heard the news on Sunday. He pulled out the big guns to criticize Minister Geneviève Guilbault, who pointed out on our pages that the CAQ “never made a formal commitment” to conduct Phase IV.
“We have a minister from the Capitale-Nationale who is very concerned about the fate of Chaudière-Appalaches and wanted to organize a summit between Quebec and Lévis […] I’ve lived in Quebec since 2002 and I think it’s the worst minister of the Capitale-Nationale that we’ve ever had,” he thundered, accusing the government of “disrespecting the city of Quebec in various acts like that of the tram or that of Nickel.
“The minister of the Capitale-Nationale nevertheless refused to say whether she had voted in favor of the tram in the Council of Ministers […] I think of people like Agnès Maltais, Sam Hamad and Gérard Deltell who, although he was never in power, managed the Quebec files. There is currently no one in the Quebec government carrying Quebec’s files,” added Mr. Villeneuve, who conveyed the same message at the press conference and the gathering before the municipal council.
A “leadership test” for Marchand
“I’m talking about this because I expect the mayor to defend us on this, I don’t want it to remain a dead letter. The mayor of Quebec must keep the file […] At the very least, I expect the mayor to ensure that the government respects the city, as Jean-Paul L’Allier, Andrée Boucher and Régis Labeaume have done,” the Quebec leader added first.
Other elected officials, all parties together, also rose in the council chamber to denounce the abandonment of Phase IV of the Samuel De Champlain Promenade.
“I was surprised to read what I read. When I have conversations with elected members of the state government, I don’t hear that. I’ve been told it’s moving forward,” explained Quebec 21 adviser Jean-François Gosselin.
“I’m also very disappointed. We will make a proposal without notice to express our disappointment,” announced Transition Quebec director Jackie Smith.
The error of the third link?
PQ spokesman for environment and fight against climate change, Sylvain Gaudreault, sees the abandonment of Phase IV of the promenade as a further consequence of the third Quebec-Lévis link project.
The Jonquière MP also wonders if Minister Guilbault, who was “very disappointed with the federal decision” regarding the defunct Laurentia project, would not try to “preserve space for future expansions of the Port of Quebec”.
“We should know if that’s it,” said Mr. Gaudreault.
Mayor Bruno Marchand agreed with the Legault government that he was right, saying he has not heard of anyone making a direct link to the Quebec-Lévis tunnel project. “But remember, in the country [électorale]? I said it was a condition: we can’t do the third link and say there’s no more money for Quebec. That can’t be the answer,” he said.
– With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon