Longueuil to begin a dozen public works projects to create jobs for COVID-19 recovery
MONTREAL -- Longueuil, hit hard economically by the pandemic, has kicked into gear with a recovery plan that’s meant to get people to work over the next five years.
The dozen infrastructure projects were all picked for one quality: they’ll create the most jobs, says Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent.
Opposition politicians criticized the plan, saying the ideas are old issues that the city was going to work on anyway at some point.
Parent said they’ll be done now because they’ll create not just new jobs but economic spinoffs. Among the priorities are construction of the tramway on Taschereau Blvd., a water infrastructure upgrade and housing developments.
The city predicts the projects will create more than 1,800 new jobs in total.
The opposition was also unhappy, however, that the plan didn’t include support for residents or small businesses.
“We need solutions yesterday, you know,” said Xavier Leger, head of the city government’s opposition.
Mayor Parent said Longueuil hasn’t forgotten small businesses, but those plans are further in the future—the city plans to ask the provincial government for tax breaks for local companies.
"We know that they need help,” she said. “We have some discussions with different ministers, so we hopeful.”
The mayor also said the Federation of Municipalities is in talks with the Quebec government on some other matters, including whether they can get permission to run a deficit.
In the end, the City of Longueuil estimates that the pandemic will have cost it $10 million.