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Accommodation&nbsp ;: unequal reactions to Poilievre's remarks

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The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, the head of Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, and the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, had tough discussions about the housing crisis.

  • Rania Massoud (View profile)Rania Massoud

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The controversial remarks by the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, who accused the mayors of Montreal and Quebec of mismanaging the housing crisis, calling them “incompetent”, continue to spark controversy. indignation in municipal and federal circles, while the provincial remains discreet.

It is a completely unacceptable and inappropriate comment, reacted Friday the president of the Union of Municipalities of Quebec (UMQ), Martin Damphousse, himself mayor of Varennes for 15 years.

I can't believe I'm hearing this [from] someone who aspires to be prime minister. Attacking two of the most influential mayors in Quebec doesn't hold water, he said on the show Tout un matin, on ICI Premiere.

The day before, in a publication on the social network , while [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] pays billions to incompetent mayors.

Federal money for cities will be linked to the number of houses and of apartments built when I am prime minister, he added.

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These comments sparked an outcry on Thursday, as soon as they were published. Leaders of the province's two largest cities, accounting for 27% of Quebec's population, accused Mr. Poilievre of not understanding the process of allocating housing funding in Quebec.

Unlike other Canadian cities, municipalities in Quebec cannot conclude direct agreements with the federal government, explained Mr. Damphousse.

To touch on federal funds, municipalities must go through a pre-agreement between Ottawa and Quebec.

For the last federal housing subsidy, we were six months late compared to all the other cities in Canada [because] we did not have agreements. Common sense would be to be informed of this beforehand.

A quote from Martin Damphousse, president of the Union of Municipalities of Quebec

Poilievre's attack: remarks unworthy of an aspiring prime minister, according to the UMQ.Broadcast HERE PREMIÈRE.All one morning.

Attack on Poilievre: remarks unworthy of an aspiring prime minister, according to the UMQ

BROADCAST HERE PREMIEREAll one morning

Listen to the audio (Attack on Poilievre: remarks unworthy of an aspiring prime minister, according to the UMQ. 10 minutes 54 seconds)

It was only in October that Quebec and Ottawa finally concluded an agreement in principle on housing which will make it possible to release $900 million in federal funds which were still unused.

The vice-president of the executive committee and responsible for housing at the City of Montreal, Benoit Dorais, also stepped up to the plate on Friday, during the inauguration of the Robert-Lemaire pavilion at the Maison du Père, which welcomes itinerant men.

He also accused Mr. Poilievre of being disconnected from regulations in Quebec regarding federal funds for housing.< /p>

Mr. Poilievre doesn't understand how it works in Quebec. Not pantout.

A quote from Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the executive committee and responsible for housing at the City of Montreal

Mr. Dorais also called on the leader of the official opposition in Ottawa to reveal his real plans. What are the real measures he wants to take? […] I wish he would tell us. Right now, he just doesn't understand how it works.

The federal Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, who is also the Member of Parliament for Laurier–Sainte-Marie, was present at the inauguration of the new Maison du Père pavilion. He took advantage of his visit to criticize the Conservative leader, claiming to have been stunned by his comments.

He is not someone that cities like Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver and many others across the country will be able to work with to tackle issues like housing or homelessness, well other issues, said Mr. Guilbeault. It is only by working in partnership, as we do today, that we can meet these challenges.

We cannot blame the cities for the fact that the money was not there to support housing projects […] if the other levels of government were not there to support them.

A quote from Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of the Environment

In the Quebec government, reactions have become rarer in the last two days.

Called to react, the office of the Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, soberly responded: We will continue to work with everyone partners involved in building more housing, speeding up deadlines and reducing bureaucratic barriers.

Solicited in turn, Ewan Sauves, press officer of the first Minister François Legault, stuck to the statement from Ms. Duranceau's office, affirming that it was a reaction on behalf of the government.

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