July 14, 2003

Federal, Quebec governments set stage for highways cost-sharing agreement

Ottawa, Ontario – Federal Transport Minister David Collenette and Yvon Marcoux, Quebec Minister of Transport, agreed today during their first meeting to conclude an agreement under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP)for Quebec as quickly as possible. They agreed to work together through the usual procedures which should lead to the signing of a formal agreement in the coming weeks.

“Continuing the partnership between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec is key to making real improvements to Quebec’s highway infrastructure,” said Minister Collenette. “I am pleased that we have been able to hold these talks today and make real progress on transportation issues affecting the province.”

Minister Marcoux said he was pleased with the spirit of openness and collaboration shown by his federal colleague. “We discussed the major issues in transportation in Quebec and the importance to the province’s development and economy of having infrastructure of the highest calibre,” said Minister Marcoux. “The coordination of our efforts will allow Quebec to benefit as quickly as possible from a federal contribution for the completion of major highway projects.”

Under the SHIP agreement, the Governments of Canada and of Quebec would each provide funding of $108.5 million for a total of $217 million for highway improvement projects in Quebec. This will result in a safer and more efficient highway system. The Canada/Quebec SHIP agreement would form part of the national $600 million SHIP program announced in April 2001 of which $500 million is available for highway construction.

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