• Carmen Marie Fabio

Vaudreuil-Soulanges on sound financial footing say MNAs


YLJ FILE PHOTO/STEPHANIE O'HANLEY Pictured here in March, 2017, Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois (left) and Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols spoke to media last week following adjournment of the parliamentary session and said the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region is in good financial shape under the Liberal Government.

Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols and Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois issued a joint communiqué following the adjournment of the recent parliamentary session highlighting some of the accomplishments of the Liberal Government in the province and, specifically, in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.

Education

Beginning with public education, both Members of the National Assembly said funding was distributed for maintenance and renovation - $6 million for the Commission scolaire des Trois-Lac and $200,000 for the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

“There’s a dossier in particular that I’ve worked on for a year,” said Nichols of École José-Maria in Terrasse-Vaudreuil that had no gymnasium in the original structure and was renting activity space in the town’s community centre. “The parents had asked for it and the school board did a good job of presenting a plan (for the gym).” Nichols also said money was spent on playground and soccer terrain upgrades.

In discussing educational success, Charlebois said the Plan économique du Québec plans to invest $3.4 billion over the next five years. On the question of bilingual education, Charlebois said she’s received requests from French parents who want to send their kids to English schools to help them get a better command of the language but they’re not able to.

“The teachers’ unions are something we need to work on,” she said.

Healthcare

“The hospital dossier is on track,” said the MNAs of the long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges facility that is to be built on Cité-des-Jeunes Boulevard in Vaudreuil-Dorion, just southwest of the junction of Highway 30 and Highway 40.

“The clinical plan will soon be deposited,” she said of the projected 250-bed, $800 million facility. “It must now go to (Health Minister Gaétan Barrette) for further study and approval.”

Charlebois said discussion at the provincial level was ongoing to open a ‘Super-clinique’ in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, following the opening of two such clinics last year in the Montérégie, but could not yet confirm exactly where it would be.

In addition, the Liberals plan to increase services offered to children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Charlebois said the plan will eventually extend to include all ages.

“It’s an action plan that goes from childhood to the age of adulthood,” she said. “We’re looking at the idea of a residence for (those on the autistic spectrum) older than the age of 21,” Charlebois said, qualifying it won’t happen tomorrow but is in the government’s plan.

Employment

While the unemployment rate in the province hovers around six per cent, the MNAs said the rate in our region has improved from 7.5 per cent in April, 2014, to 4.5 per cent in May of this year. Charlebois said 164,000 jobs were created in the private sector across the province but did not have the breakdown of part-time versus full-time.

Infrastructure

The MNAs also highlighted the $5.9 million in provincial money for work carried out on land stabilization for the Chaline Valley region of Saint-Lazare as well as $316,369 in funding for two energy efficiency projects at the Terrasse-Vaudreuil Polymos Company and $576,541 for the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant at Les Coteaux. Of the Polymos project, Nichols said the energy savings are the equivalent of removing the emissions of 142 vehicles from the roads annually. Additional infrastructure money will be delegated to repairs to the portion of Route 342 traversing the Quinchien River and the Coteau-du-Lac overpass that crosses Highway 20.

Debt reduction

Factoring in the increase in minimum wage to $11.25 per hour to the employment situation, Charlebois said Quebec’s rating by Standard and Poor for its management of public finance was considered good at AA- (AAA being the highest). Charlebois said the government has reduced the provincial debt through the ‘Fonds des générations’ plan adopted in 2006, allowing them to funnel more money into health and education. “We have the means to do it now.”

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