The Quebec City region is fertile ground for the Conservative Party. In this “blue sea”, two Liberals are trying to hang on to their seats: cabinet minister Jean-Yves Duclos in the riding of Québec, and the party’s rising star Joël Lightbound in Louis-Hébert.
Since mid-August, the Liberals have been making numerous campaign announcements in these ridings, including funding of up to $1.2 billion for a new tramway. In fact, the main election issue in this capital region is the serious traffic congestion problem. Since 2001, the total number of trips in the Quebec City region has increased by 17.8%, extending the morning rush hour and making the evening rush hour even longer.
To correct the situation, the Quebec government announced, in June, that a tunnel would be built under Île d’Orléans to serve as a third link between Quebec City and Lévis. This infrastructure would run under the western tip of Île d’Orléans, for almost 10 kilometres across the St. Lawrence River, between the Route Lallemand area, in Lévis, and the end of highway 40, in Quebec City.
This project is controversial, and it has been criticized by environmental groups who consider its 4-billion-dollar price tag excessive and say that it will contribute to urban sprawl. Whereas the Conservatives support the project, the Liberals are leaning towards the development of public transit.
The other election issue is challenging the secularism bill that was recently passed by Quebec’s National Assembly. Premier Legault has asked the federal party leaders to respect provincial law. The Liberals have yet to respond. CPAC’s Marc-André Cossette reports from Quebec City.