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REM delayed: Stations in West Island, North Shore now opening in 2025

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Officials for Montreal's REM confirmed that the lines to the West Island and the North Shore are being delayed and won't open until 2025.

The Deux-Montagnes and Anse-à-l'Orme stations were supposed to be open in 2024, but on Wednesday Charles Emond, president and chief executive officer of CDPQ, and Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and chief executive officer of CDPQ Infra, said the opening dates are being pushed back.

The delays were first reported by Radio-Canada on Wednesday.

When asked by MNAs at the Quebec legislature earlier in the day, Philippe Batani, executive vice-president of public affairs, communications and strategy at CDPQ Infra, would only say, "the only thing I can say is it won't be in 2024."

The light-rail system's builder blamed complex work in the Mount Royal tunnel. It's still trying to modernize century-old infrastructure and add 600 kilometres of electrical lines.

"The first criteria for me is the safety of the system and the reliability of the system. If they need more time to make more trials of the system before it is in operation I think it's the right thing to do," said Genevieve Guilbault, Quebec's transport minister.

The first branch of the REM opened last July, but it came after multiple delays and a ballooning price tag. The latest projection put it at nearly $8 billion — $1.6billion more than the original cost.

Opposition MNAs in Quebec City were putting the REM builder in the hot seat.

"You can have a great plan but if you don’t execute properly, you’re going to have issues — that’s where we’re at," Quebec Liberal Party MNA Frédéric Beauchemin.

"Is CDPQ Infra the right player to develop collective transport?" asked Parti Québécois MNA Joël Arsenault.

With a number of breakdowns and trip delays, the opposition worries that some people won't be along for the ride.

"It doesn’t inspire confidence and that’s a shame and that’s a big issue," said Alexandre Leduc of Quebec Solidaire.

Technical tests on the new lines are scheduled to begin in the next few weeks.

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