Friday, June 16, 2017

Canada commits $US 960 million to Montreal REM

Written by  Keith Barrow, Associate Editor, International Railway Journal

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 15 that the federal government will contribute CA $1.28 billion (US $960 million) towards the CA $6.04 billion (US $4.56 billion) cost of constructing Montreal's Metropolitan Electric Network (REM).

 

The federal government's decision means the project is now fully funded, with CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of pension fund Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, contributing CA $2.67 bilion (US $2.02 billion), and the province of Quebec providing $CA 1.24 billion (US $94 million). Hydro Quebec is also contributing CA $295 million (US $222.87 million) and CA $512 million (US $386.82 million) is due in compensation for land value capture.

Federal funding for the 67-km (41.6-mile) automated light metro network is being drawn from the long-term Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

Trudeau also announced that it will be possible for the province of Quebec and CDPQ Infra to put the project forward to the Canada Infrastructure Bank for independent analysis and consideration for funding. If the bank decides to invest in REM, the allocation from Quebec's transit budget could be reduced.

"The REM is one of the most ambitious public transportation projects in our history," says Trudeau. "In addition to making it quicker and easier for millions of Quebec residents to get around, the REM will reduce the number of cars on the roads, help ease traffic and make the air cleaner."

An interview with CDPQ Infra president and CEO Mr Macky Tall will appear in the July issue of IRJ.