On May 12, the largest union in Quebec’s urban transit sector presented its brief on Bill 38 to the National Assembly’s Committee on Public Finance.

Representatives from CUPE Quebec’s transportation sector spoke out on behalf of more than 7,000 workers in transit authorities across the province. The workers are members of CUPE’s Conseil provincial du secteur du transport terrestre (CPSTT).

Union representatives are opposed to the bill, called An Act to allow the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to carry out infrastructure projects. They fear it will open the door to a different type of public-private partnership (P3), will distort the Caisse’s mandate, and will also contribute to the loss of internal expertise at the transport ministry.

“We recommend that the government works to strengthen existing transit authorities like the Société de transport de Montréal, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil, and the Société de transport de Laval, and bolster their role in planning and implementing transit-related infrastructure projects,” said Daniel Leroux, president of the CPSTT.

“For CUPE Quebec, the path forward is to strengthen the role of the transport ministry as the project manager for public transit infrastructure projects, in conjunction with transit authorities in Montreal’s metropolitan region. Developing internal expertise is, in our opinion, the best way to ensure transparency, efficiency, and good governance,” said Pierre-Guy Sylvestre, economist and CUPE Quebec representative.

With more than 112,700 members in Quebec, CUPE represents about 7,100 members working in urban transit across the province.

Read CUPE’s brief (available in French only).