More electric cars, better road safety, and lower greenhouse gas emissions are cornerstones of a sustainable mobility strategy announced last week by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, just seven months ahead of a provincial election in the fall.
Couillard said an investment of C$2.9 billion through 2023 will reduce commuting times 20%, cut oil consumption in transportation by 40% from 2013 levels, reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions 37.5% from 1990 levels, and eliminate 20% of the single-occupant cars on the road.
The announcement comes at a time when Couillard’s provincial Liberal party has “pulled out of a dive in public support,” CBC reports, but is still running well behind Coalition Avenir Québec led by former Parti Québécois cabinet minister François Legeault.
“Two polls published in the last week suggest that the margin between the CAQ and the Liberals has narrowed significantly,” with the CAQ ahead by five points in one and the two parties tied in the other. The surveys “put the CAQ at between 30 and 34% support, followed by the Liberals at 29 to 30%, the PQ at 16 to 21%, and Québec Solidaire at nine to 12%,” notes CBC pollster Éric Grenier. “This is a change of fortunes for the CAQ, which seemed to have the wind in its sails earlier this year.”