CUPE, the largest union representing municipal and public transit employees in Quebec, applauds the substantial financial aid the provincial government announced Friday. Both sectors are essential to the economic recovery.
“In recent weeks, we have stepped up pressure on the government. Quebec has been hit harder by COVID-19 than other Canadian provinces and the situation is critical. Municipalities and transit companies urgently need more funding. Our message was received, and we are happy with this announcement. We must now ensure that the money is invested without delay so that Quebeckers receive all of the services they are entitled to,” said Marc Ranger, the Director of CUPE Quebec.
Public transit companies across the province, including Longueuil, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Laval and the Saguenay, have cut staff and service. Cuts were also being considered by the Outaouais’ transit company.
Several municipalities across the province also reduced staff and service. This injection of funds offers much-needed support.
“All services must be restored and protected. This announcement breathes new life into the issue. We have to remember that the health crisis is taking place in the midst of a climate crisis. We cannot have a green economic recovery without municipal infrastructure and public transit. And government needs to keep the door open to more funding if more is needed. Unfortunately, the end of this crisis is a long way off,” Benoit Bouchard, President of CUPE Quebec.