POLITICS

Facts about the Plan Nord, the Quebec Liberals' northern-development project

08/12/2012 06:05 EDT | Updated 10/12/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - Here are some facts about the Liberals' northern-development plan for Quebec, dubbed "Plan Nord":

—Focuses on broad development — including mining, energy and tourism — across an area north of the 49th parallel about twice the size of France.

—Liberals project it will attract $80 billion in private and public investment to Quebec's northern over the next 25 years.

—Liberals say it will create 20,000 jobs in Quebec over that period.

—Plan is to invest $2.1 billion in public money on infrastructure — such as roads and airports — that will ease access to faraway regions.

—Liberals say project will eventually pump $14 billion into provincial coffers and make Quebec a contributor to equalization.

—Parti Quebecois opposition calls current plan a cheap selloff of the province's resources.

—PQ wants a 30 per cent surtax, as in Australia, on profits beyond a certain level.

—PQ criticizes government for investing so much public money to build roads for private business.

—Canadian National Railway is working with mining companies and Caisse pension manager to study possibility of building rail line, with estimated cost of $5 billion.