NEWS

PQ faces criticism for revamped 'North for All' plan

05/08/2013 12:07 EDT | Updated 07/07/2013 05:12 EDT
The Parti Québécois has released its own version of a northern development plan but critics say it fails to improve on the previous government's Plan Nord.

On Tuesday, Premier Pauline Marois unveiled "Nord Pour Tous" — or "North for All" — which will see $868 million invested of five years into infrastructure development in the north of Quebec.

The plan also promises to work more closely with local communities and create a government agency to co-ordinate those efforts.

North for All vs. Plan Nord

But the Opposition party says the PQ has simply appropriated former premier Jean Charest’s Plan Nord under a new name.

“This morning they just make the same announcement that we made,” said Jean-Marc Fournier, leader of Liberal party.

Quebec deputy premier François Gendron admitted the two plans are similar, but he said the PQ plans to place more emphasis on socially and environmentally sustainable projects.

Fournier said the government isn’t living up to its promise. He said the Liberals did far more for social responsibility.

“When you look at social housing, we had 300 in our proposition and 226 in their proposition. So they are lying when they say that,” he said.

Fournier also pointed out the Liberals wanted to protect up to 50 per cent of northern Quebec from industrial development.

The PQ’s North for All plan also came under fire from the Coalition Avenir Québec.

CAQ leader François Legault said any progress in northern development will require private investors. He said he’s concerned the current government is alienating them.

“We desperately need a plan to increase private investment in the north and in the south,” Legault said.

“If we want to create more wealth, we need to have private investment. I haven't seen that.”

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