11/21/2012 21:54 EST | Updated 01/21/2013 05:12 EST

Liberals upset at PQ's cuts to infrastructure

Quebec's Liberal Party is criticizing the Parti Québécois' decision to reduce infrastructure spending.

The PQ government's budget cuts an estimated $7.5 billion – or nearly 20 per cent – from planned spending on infrastructure over the next five years.

The minister responsible for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, said no one will notice the difference on big projects, including the replacement of the Turcot Interchange.

Last week, the PQ was downplaying suggestions that it was reconsidering work on the busy highway.

"Montrealers will see action soon on Turcot, on the metro, on reserved lanes for buses," said Lisée.

The Liberal opposition finance critic, Raymond Bachand, said it would be a mistake to slow down the work.

"There are too many infrastructure projects that we need to do as Quebecers because we have 20 years of neglect to repair. People have died because of that," he said.

Despite doubts coming from the opposition, the PQ said it can get urgent work done while reducing the overall cost – which will pile onto the provincial debt.

Health Minister Réjean Hébert said some hospital projects could also be slowed down, but said the PQ would enter in public-private partnerships (PPP) to get work done.

One of the biggest PPPs in the province is the construction of the new McGill University Health Centre.