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Return of the third link: Caisse de depot analyzing public transit scenarios

It seems the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec won't just be looking at the best public transport scenarios for Quebec City; the government is also asking it to look into the possibility of adding a third link between the two shores.

A letter from Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault to the Caisse de dépôt, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, asks CDPQ Infra to "identify a structured transport project that will improve public transport for Quebec City (and) improve mobility and fluidity in the Quebec metropolis, particularly between the two shores."

CDPQ Infra will only have six months to submit its proposals.

On Monday, the Caisse indicated it had accepted the government's request, saying it will base its analysis on existing studies.

A fortnight ago, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government rejected Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand's proposal for an $8.4 billion tramway.

At the time, Guilbault announced that she would mandate CDPQ Infra to find the best public transport project for Quebec City.

The third link was not mentioned, but the government seemed increasingly wary of the tramway project because of the soaring costs.


Less than 24 hours after his crushing electoral defeat by the Parti Québécois (PQ) in Jean-Talon, Premier François Legault took everyone by surprise by announcing that he wanted to once again consult the people of Quebec City on the third link, saying all options were on the table.

This about-face came just a few months after Guilbault announced that the motorway section of the project would be abandoned in favour of a tunnel reserved for public transport.

Her office has indicated that consultations on the third link would occur in parallel with CDPQ Infra's analysis, and the details should be released soon.

Two weeks ago, Le Soleil published a poll showing that only nine per cent of Quebecers still believe the CAQ will build the third link.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 20, 2023. Top Stories

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