Canada commits $970m grant for major Montreal rail project


The Government of Canada has confirmed a C$1.28bn ($970m) federal commitment for the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) light rail network in Montréal, which will connect the city to its suburbs and to its international airport.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal grant as part of the government's long-term ‘Investing in Canada’ infrastructure plan.

The grant will be subject to necessary due diligence is intended to enable the finalisation of the project's financing, as well as meet the construction schedule of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Prime Minister Trudeau said: “The REM is one of the most ambitious public transportation projects in our history.

“In addition to making it quicker and easier for millions of Quebec residents to get around, the REM will reduce the number of cars on the roads, help ease traffic and make the air cleaner.

“The announcement today represents a big step toward improving the quality of life of Canadians and their families, creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and growing the economy.”

Trudeau also stated that after the Canada Infrastructure Bank is established, Province of Quebec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will be able to identify the project as an opportunity for independent analysis and consideration by the bank.

"The announcement today represents a big step toward improving the quality of life of Canadians and their families, creating good, well-paying jobs and growing the economy."

The federal investment is expected to create 34,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and a further 1,000 permanent jobs once the project is fully operational.

It is estimated that REM would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 35,000t within its first year of operation.

The new 67km automated light rail network will include 27 stations and operate 20 hours a day throughout the week once completed.

It will link Montréal’s downtown to the West Island, South Shore, North Shore, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.


Image: A rail line. Photo: courtesy of Martyn E. Jones / FreeImages.com.