(TLN) Laval mayor Marc Demers is reacting enthusiastically to the Quebec government’s latest annual budget, saying that various investments planned by Quebec will greatly benefit Laval which is the province’s third most important municipality.
Demers said he was especially pleased with the CAQ government’s strategy to invest $15.8 billion in the 2020-2030 Quebec Infrastructure Plan in order to increase its stake in mass transit.
Rapid transit funding
The mayor noted that part of this will include a major transit project for Laval involving rapid transit buses along Notre Dame and de la Concorde boulevards.
Demers said he was also pleased with the government’s announcement that it is currently studying two scenarios for extending the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) towards the centre of Laval, and to link up western and eastern Laval.
The mayor noted that these measures were among recommendations that came out of a public transit forum held by Laval and North Shore/Lower Laurentians communities.
Climate change measures
Mayor Demers also acknowledged various measures in the new budget to deal with the impact of climate change and the development of new expertise for this purpose. As such, Laval will be among the municipalities across Quebec sharing $504 million in additional funding to deal with the fallout of future natural disasters. As well, there will be $100 million from Quebec for a new program to help deal proactively with flooding.
“Laval is one of the cities in Quebec that were badly hit by spring flooding over the past few years,” said Demers. “The financial assistance announced by Quebec will allow us to put into place the necessary measures in order to better prevent the impacts of climate change while reacting with appropriate measures.
The mayor said he and other officials from the city were also very happy with financial support from the province for programs to encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles, as well as subsidies from Quebec encouraging homeowners to convert oil-fired heating systems to electricity.
The mayor was also pleased with Quebec’s announcement of a 12.6 per cent increase of funding in culture. As Laval has the highest number of scientific museums in Quebec, Demers said the funding would be especially meaningful here.
Funding for museums
According to the mayor, virtually all the science-based museums in Laval will be eligible to receive from the new fund. They include the Cosmodôme, the Armand Frappier Museum, the Centre d’interprétation de l’eau and Parc de la Rivière-des-Mlle-Iles. As well, he noted that the government plans to provide funding in the new budget that will help promote and preserve historic buildings in the Laval region.
Finally, Mayor Demers praised the government for its decision to allot $556 million over five years to encourage productivity, innovation and overall growth in business through the creation of two new income tax credits, the first being for investment in innovations, the second for capital investments.