FQM meets with Prime Minister
Members of the Federation Quebecoise des municipalites (FQM) met with Prime Minister Trudeau and several ministers and deputies on February 23rd, in Ottawa, including Minister of International Development and the Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, the parliamentary secretary of the Minister of Finance, Francois-Philippe Champagne, and the parliamentary secretary of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Pablo Rodriguez.
The FQM is asking that the money that will be available through the renewal of the Canada Works program be more easily accessed by small municipalities. “Although their infrastructure projects are not as flashy as those in the big cities, they guarantee the dynamic occupation of the vast territory of Canada,” said Richard Lehoux, the president of the FQM.
The FQM asked the federal government to respect its electoral promise of investing $200 million per year to create strategies that favor innovation and green technology in the forestry sector. “We mentioned last week in our tour of the Abitibi and repeated in Ottawa that the government must act quickly regarding the forest industry and distribute the money promised in the last election. More than 20,000 Quebecers have lost their jobs in the last ten years in this sector; the government must act to allow the industry to relaunch and modernise for the good of rural communities,” said Mr. Lehoux.
Since the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership by the former Conservative government, the FQM has come to the defence of the supply management system in the food industry. “We know that the abolition of the supply management system would hurt badly the food industry and the regions of Quebec. The Canadian government must be sure to defend the supply management program in its entirety,” concluded Mr. Lehoux.
The prefect of the Memphremagog MRC and mayor of Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley, Jacques Demers, was among the eight person delegation that met with Prime Minister Trudeau and the Ministers.