QUEBEC, March 21 /CNW Telbec/ - It's time to look at the answers
CAA-Quebec received to the specific questions it asked the five main parties
running in the March 26 elections. Our organization is pleased to provide
electors with a tool that may help them with their election choice. The tool
is available on our website at www.caaquebec.com.
In carrying out its task, CAA-Quebec chose to focus on the issues that
are important to our members and consequently to all motorists and consumers.
The organization therefore targeted some of the main issues it has been
following for some time now: the financial contributions of motorists,
infrastructures, the environment, mobility, road security, residential
concerns and travel.
4 out of 5 parties... - Of the five political parties invited to
participate, only the Action démocratique du Québec refused to answer,
justifying its decision by saying it favours direct contact with electors.
Some highlights raised by CAA-Quebec's questions:
- Road development and maintenance - While the Liberal Party recently
announced it would allocate close to $11 billion between 2005 and 2010
for road development and maintenance (30% for the development of new
projects and 70% for maintenance), the Parti Québécois is committed to
pursuing projects that have already been announced by the government.
The Green Party would allocate the entire infrastructure budget to
maintenance, with the exception of construction projects that have
already reached an advanced planning stage.
- Road infrastructure fund - CAA-Quebec wanted to know if the parties
were open to the idea of creating a road infrastructure fund that would
be managed by an organization independent of the government. This would
help protect the amounts needed from changes in government. In a recent
survey of CAA-Quebec members, the organization learned that 83% of
respondents were in favour of the creation of such a fund. The Parti
Québécois indicated that the current Fonds de conservation et
d'amélioration du réseau routier, which the PQ created in 1996, was
adequate. We should mention that this fund's revenues are provided by
the Fonds consolidé du Québec and are therefore not protected from
political change. The Liberal Party is hesitant about creating a
dedicated fund, whereas the Green Party is open to a solution of that
kind, which has already been adopted in several countries in order to
depoliticize road management.
- Gasoline: status quo on the horizon - CAA-Quebec wanted to know if the
different political parties would be willing to review the gasoline
taxation rate, which is currently the highest in the country. Based on
the answers we received, neither the Liberal Party nor the Green Party
intend to lower the taxation rate, and the Parti Québécois does not
intend to raise it either. Finally, the Green Party said it would be
willing to review the current inequitable structure regarding the
taxation of a litre of gasoline, where GST and QST are applied over and
above all other required taxes and contributions (double taxation).
- Public transportation: quantifiable promises - All parties that
answered are planning major investments in this area, an issue that
recently polled CAA-Quebec members rated second (3.95/5), after road
repairs (4.53/5), on the list of priorities regarding Quebec's main
Welcome to all Internet users! - "For CAA-Quebec, this initial experience
has been very beneficial," says Sophie Gagnon, Director, Public and Government
Relations. "We will keep the information we obtained from the parties. We
believe this will help us better inform our members and the public, whose
individual concerns are not always addressed. We hope many of them will
consult the information on our site."
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services, benefits and
privileges to its members.
For further information:
For further information: Montreal: Roxanne Héroux, (514) 861-7111, ext.
3210; Quebec: Philippe St-Pierre, (418) 624-2424, ext. 2418