Canadian PM and Quebec premier announce plans for highway development in Montreal

Monday, November 6, 2006

The PM and Quebec premier Jean Charest have announced a $1 billion highway development in Montreal. This project would be one of Canada's largest ever public private partnerships. It will be a 35 kilometer (21.8 mile) four-lane toll road Highway 30 project, in Montreal.

"It opens up a new horizon in Quebec's economic development," Stephen Harper said in a speech in Lery, Quebec. "As prime minister of Canada I am very proud and welcome this latest example of the fruitful collaboration between our government and that of Quebec."

The Montreal Skyline

"Since we formed the government of Canada, I have wanted to practice an open federalism, inspired by the spirit which gave birth to the Canadian confederation," said Harper. "That includes respecting provincial jurisdictions and the sharing of responsibilities."

"You know that open federalism is not a constitutional theory or an electoral slogan," the prime minister added. "It's a new approach that allows partners in the Canadian federation to work better together in the realization of projects."

Completing the highway will allow through traffic to bypass Montreal, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in the area.

"The announcement today speaks to the willingness of both governments to work together to better serve the interests of the population," said Charest, who is expected to head into an election next year.

Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge and other public officials have endorsed agreements between governments and private companies to invest in roads and hospitals.