Geneviève Guilbault, the “worst minister of the Capitale-Nationale we’ve had”, ton Villeneuve

The abandonment of Phase IV of the Samuel-De Champlain promenade by the Legault government will not carry over to Quebec City Hall. Furious with Geneviève Guilbault, the opposition leader even called her “the worst Capitale-Nationale minister we’ve had”.

• Read also: Promenade Samuel-De Champlain: Phase IV of the project forgotten by the CAQ

Mayor Bruno Marchand, who learned the news from the pages of the Log was more moderate than he against Claude Villeneuve at the end of the week, evoking a “loss” for Quebec and a “disappointment” for the Beauport sector.

Mr Marchand said he wanted to know more and know “all the ins and outs”, but from the outset he judged “that we should not doubt it” and reminded that this sector could develop without the will of the government of Québec.

The next election campaign will be an opportunity to remind him of this, he said. “Something wonderful can be done on the east side of the city, giving citizens access to the river again. For me, phase IV of the walk is part of that.”

Villeneuve “without knowledge”

Outraged, the leader of the official opposition in town hall, Claude Villeneuve, says he was “unconscious” when he heard the news on Sunday. He pulled out all the stops to criticize Minister Geneviève Guilbault, who stated in our pages that the CAQ had “never made a formal commitment” to carry out Phase IV.

“We have a minister of the Capitale-Nationale who is very concerned about the fate of Chaudière-Appalaches and who wanted to organize a Quebec-Lévis summit […] Me, I’ve lived in Quebec since 2002 and I think it’s the worst Capitale-Nationale minister we’ve had,” he thundered, accusing the government of “disrespecting the city of Quebec in several dossiers, such as that of the tram or that of nickel.

“The Minister of the Capitale-Nationale nevertheless refused to say whether she had voted for the tram at the Council of Ministers […] I think of people like Agnès Maltais, Sam Hamad and Gérard Deltell who, although he was never in power, handled Quebec’s files. There is currently no one in Quebec’s government to carry Quebec’s files,” added Mr. Villeneuve, who conveyed the same message in press conferences and during the meeting to the city council.

A “test of leadership” for Marchand

“I’m talking about it because I expect the mayor to defend us on it, I don’t want it to remain a dead letter. The mayor of Quebec has to carry the file […] At a minimum, I expect the mayor to make sure that the government respects the city, as Jean-Paul L’Allier, Andrée Boucher and Régis Labeaume did,” the Quebec chief added.

Other elected officials, all parties together, also showed up in the council chambers to denounce the shutdown of Phase IV of the Samuel-De Champlain boardwalk.

“I was surprised to read what I read. Whenever I have discussions with elected members of the county council, I don’t hear it. I’ve been told it’s going ahead,” Quebec 21 adviser Jean-François Gosselin explained.

“I am also very disappointed. We are going to submit a proposal without notice to express our disappointment,” Transition Quebec head Jackie Smith announced.

The error of the third link?

The PQ spokesperson for the environment and the fight against climate change, Sylvain Gaudreault, sees the cessation of phase IV of the promenade as another consequence of the third connection project between Quebec and Lévis.

The MP for Jonquière also wondered whether Minister Guilbault, who was “deeply disappointed with the federal decision” regarding the defunct Laurentia project, would not try to “keep spaces free for future expansions of the port of Québec”.

“We should know if that’s it,” Mr. Gaudreault dropped.

Mayor Bruno Marchand gave the Legault government the benefit of the doubt, saying he had not yet heard anyone make a direct link to the Quebec-Lévis tunnel project. “But remember, in the countryside [électorale]† I said it was a condition: we can’t make the third link and say there’s no more money for Quebec. That can’t be the answer,” he said.

– With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon

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