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Tram contract: the union is “worrying” and the opposition “does not understand”

Paris | The La Pocatière trade union is “alarming” the tramway and the opposition shows a misunderstanding of international trade agreements, Bruno Marchand denounces.

• Also read: Tramway: Union Alstom conjures up the “crumbs” of the La Boucatere factory

• Also read: Third stage of the tramway: Mayor Bruno Marchand comes to the defense of the citizens of the periphery

• Also read: The third stage of the tramway: a detached or provocative mayor, depending on the opposition

“They’ve certainly had a troubling trip,” the mayor of Quebec, as he moved into the final leg of his mission in Europe, commented in Paris.

He reacted the day after publishing a press release from the Bombardier-La-Bocataire-CSN employee union, denouncing that “Quebec City streetcars will be made in Mexico” and that the workers here will not have just “crumbs.”

For the mayor, “25% of Canadian content is not crumb, the final assembly is not crumb, and we want it to be more.”

Canada-Europe Agreement

But he remembers, like Prime Minister François Legault, that these contracts are governed by an agreement between Canada and Europe, which requires a reduction in protectionism, under penalty of sanctions.

“The Quebec government and we are at the limit of what we can do by honoring the agreement. […] It was impossible to do more in context.

He repeats that Alstom promised to exceed the 25% mark and that the details of the production line will be known later, as Alstom has two years to start construction.

Villeneuve

He fired an arrow at the leader of the opposition, Claude Villeneuve, who congratulated himself for not supporting the adoption of the contract.

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“I question his understanding of international conventions,” said the mayor.

When the Leader of the Opposition says he would have done differently, it is impossible. He has two options: Either we don’t sign this contract and say there are no trams. The other option is to outsource and let the companies generate less than 25% Canadian content.”

For Mr. Marchand, these two options are “unacceptable”. He denies that he lied, as the opposition accuses him. “When you buy a car made in Canada, there are parts that come from elsewhere.”

Obsession

As for Patrick Paquet, head of the Quebec Priorities team, the mayor rules that he “makes it clear he doesn’t understand. There’s no point in saying words, yelling, scrambling, saying anything, you can’t build a project of this magnitude with people who don’t understand. Mr. Paquet has a solid idea, And it kills the tramway. It will never give up. It’s a way of doing politics that I don’t like. It hurts Quebec.”

In the National Assembly, the situation also caused a reaction. The Minister for the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, emphasized that 25% local content was “the norm” in this type of contract. He said he was “surprised” by the union’s exit. “There is a line [de montage] that will be built for it. This is excellent news for Quebec. […] When Alstom bought Bombardier, there were probably 100 people [l’usine de] no bokater. […] They are 400 today.

“Naturally we want to have as many economic benefits as possible in Quebec, and I will be following the file closely,” said the Minister in charge of Capitale National, Jonathan Julien.

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In collaboration with Marc-André Gagnon and Geneviève Lajoie, Parliamentary Office

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