Employees of the Bombardier plant in La Pocatière learned “with amazement” that the cars of the future Quebec tramway will be manufactured in Mexico.
Contrary to the promises of the CAQ government, the La Pocatière plant will only pick up the crumbs of this major project of nearly 4 billion, that is only the assembly, denounced the union of plant employees, affiliated at the CNS.
“The employees of the La Pocatière plant could never have imagined that the contract for the Quebec tramway, practically in our backyard, would slip away from us in favor of a Mexican plant. The situation is even more aberrant since the factory is currently working to manufacture cars for the Toronto tramway, ”laments the president of the CSN, Caroline Senneville.
“Rather than building the cars less than 200 kilometers from Quebec City, Alstom is entrusting the project to a Mexican plant more than 4000 kilometers from the province, in facilities running on fossil fuels. In terms of carbon footprint, the Quebec tramway starts with a poor record,” lamented Marco Lévesque, president of the plant union.
For the employees of the La Pocatière plant, it is “to live a second time the nightmare of the trains of the Metropolitan Express Network (REM) which, despite the expertise of Alstom’s factories in Quebec, were manufactured in India” .
The French manufacturer Alstom was alone in the running for the Quebec tramway project. It will provide 34 cars and will be responsible for the maintenance of the equipment for 30 years. The Quebec tramway will have a route of 19.3 kilometers and should be in operation in 2029.
The Caisse de dépôt is the largest shareholder of Alstom, which received in 2021 a “forgivable loan” of 56 million from the Quebec government, in particular to modernize the La Pocatière plant.
The Minister of the Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon then argued that the plant could inherit all the contracts given in Quebec.
For its part, Alstom has indicated that the 100% electric tramway trains “will be developed by Alstom engineers based in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville” and assembled at the La Pocatière plant. The company values the contract at $1.34 billion.