Trainsparence, a coalition of Quebec labour, citizen and environmental groups, welcomes a new report that is critical of Montreal’s rapid transit plan. The report, by Quebec’s environmental review board (BAPE), was submitted to the government last week and characterizes the REM (Réseau électrique métropolitain) project as neither economically nor environmentally justifiable. The project is spearheaded by the Caisse de depôt et placement du Quebec, an institutional investor that manages several public and parapublic pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec.

“The BAPE points out several problems linked to the project’s acceptance process and the project in and of itself. Many have been calling for a parliamentary committee on the REM project since April 2016, in light of the immense investment by taxpayers. The REM would become the biggest P3 in Quebec history. Taxpayers have the right to know how their money will be spent,” said Denis Bolduc, president of CUPE Quebec and spokesperson for Trainsparence.

Another disturbing detail about the REM is that the government modified the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings within public bodies to exclude the CDPQ from this whistleblower protection legislation.

“If someone at the CDPQ wants to alert authorities about problems with this project, they won’t be able to. It makes no sense,” said Bolduc.

Trainsparence, a coalition that includes public transit experts, environmental groups, and unions, including CUPE, has called for a parliamentary committee to evaluate the entire impact of the project.

For more information, visit Trainsparence’s Facebook page.