“A pre -election budget that directs monetary values ​​as planned”

Sébastien D’Astous was pleased with Girard’s budget

© Photo: Le Citoyen – Archives – Le Citoyen Rouyn – La Sarre

Sébastien D’Astous, Mayor of Amos and President of the Conference of Prefects of Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

(By Mathieu Proulx)-Like the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ), the President of the Conference of Prefects of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien D’Astous, said he was satisfied with the provincial budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Éric Girard, on March 22.

“It’s a budget before the election,” he said from the start in an interview with Le Citoyen. Money is injected into the programs as expected. Public transport, regional development and social housing are not neglected, ”said the mayor of Amos.

Today, Mr. D’Astous believes we need to continue to work hard to highlight the particularities of the region so that we can get our big share. “The problem is not that the money is not available,” he explains. However, we rarely take into account the fact that the construction cost is always greater. We need to make this clear to decision makers. “

Better adapt the programs

Thus, if associations such as FRAPRU harshly criticize the government for choosing not to increase the budget allocated to social housing, Sébastien D’Astous believes that it is largely necessary to better adapt the administrative process to respect its the realities in the region.

The remoteness of major centers and the shortage of workers are driving up construction leasing costs and this has greatly delayed their construction. “We’ve been working on our Amos file for ten years, he cited as an example. It’s very long. We feel that the government has a desire to reduce administrative red tape. It just has to happen on the ground.”

Prioritize transportation

In terms of public transport, Mr. D’Astous recalled that the issue was prioritized last year. For him, there are already good initiatives in the territory (such as Le Baladeur in Témiscamingue, Max Taxi coupon in MRC of Abitibi, public transport in Rouyn-Noranda, etc.). We need to continue the discussion and conduct a study across the territory to find out the real and concrete needs of the citizens.

“We want to decompartmentalize our people in their rural community, transportation from one city to another,” he said. A serious study will allow us to carry out projects without being afraid to propose. of solutions that get in the way. “

On the manpower attraction side, the CPAT president seems disappointed. If the amount seems high ($ 83 million), we will spend this money very quickly, according to him.

Moreover, Sébastien D’Astous is happy that the government will be able to return to the path of a balanced budget. “We see that Quebec is doing well economically,” he said. If we often forget, it must be remembered that, as a region, we are actively participating in the good economic results of the province. We are progressing at high speed and we are entitled to get our share.

PIERRE DUFOUR: “MANY PROPOSALS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”

The regional minister and MNA for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour, has clearly said that he is very happy with the budget of his colleague, Minister of Finance. “Budget 2022-2023 proposes many measures that will help the economic development of our region and allow it to contribute to the height of its growth potential in Quebec. Thanks to the strength of the economy and our well -managed public finances, we have the means to invest in the core missions of the State to better meet the needs of the citizens, especially through the restoration of the health system, ” he said in a press release.

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