REM: Quebec may have to pay more

REM: Québec pourrait avoir à payer davantage

Photo: Caisse de dépôt
Model of the future EMN

Quebec might have to shell out more funds for the express Network metropolitan (REM), the future light rail of the Caisse de dépôt.

It is one of the findings of the auditor general, which reviewed the agreements with the Fund at the request of the national Assembly.

In its report, Guylaine Leclerc says that” there is still some risk to the government, which could lead them to spend additional sums for which the method of accounting should be analyzed “.

She adds that it is ” not possible at the present time to determine if allowances should be paid or not, or the amounts that would be associated with “. Thresholds are planned, but not in all cases.

Ms. Leclerc points out that the REM has the right to severance pay which shall exceed cumulatively 10 million, up to a maximum of $ 600 million. Once this limit is reached, the compensation payable for each such event exceeding $ 1 million may not exceed 50 million by a subsequent event.

The auditor notes that the government might have to pay “large amounts of compensation” based on the problems that may arise during the construction of the REM.

For example, in particular, there is no thresholds and ceilings for compensation to apply relating to :

any loss suffered by the REM arising from a reorganization of the governance of the transit on the territory of the regional Authority of metropolitan transport (ARTM) ;

the imposition of new charges in REM, or the loss by the REM of benefits from exemptions granted by virtue of law and which would result in an increase in costs, the following changes to laws relating to taxation for municipal or school ;

the amendment to the regulations relating to the transmission fees payable to the REM by the ARTM.

Other circumstances relating to the intervention of the ministry of the Environment and of the Committee on standards of equity, fairness, and the health and safety of the work are also mentioned. According to mp Alain Therrien, who has posed many questions to the auditor general on this file, the costs could explode to the government.