Urban Densification Cities need to find a balance Bonnardel

Urban Densification | Cities need to find a “balance,” Bonnardel replies to mayors

Transport Minister François Bonnardel does not regret classifying urban densification as a “fashion”, despite the mixed reactions provoked by its publication in the municipal sector. He judges that while some families “find themselves” in densely populated areas, others prefer to move away from them.

Updated yesterday at 4:05pm.


Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vézina La Presse

“Once again, we have to find the balance,” the CAQ minister replied in a press frenzy on Monday, judging that not everyone liked the densification of the metropolitan areas. “There are families that find themselves there and others that don’t find themselves there,” he said, recalling that there are “mechanisms” precisely within the government “to authorize or not to increase the urban perimeter.”

He was responding to the release of a new and young city guard, who delivered a message to the Legault government in La Presse on Monday: urban densification is not a “fad”, as Minister Bonnardel said, but an essential way to sustain it Territory and mitigation of climate change.

“Who should I say to a young family: do you live in a 12-story high-rise building since densification is in vogue? ‘ Mr. Bonnardel had launched.

In Longueuil, Mayor Catherine Fournier took her comment poorly. “When we heard that in the municipal area, it caused a certain excitement. On the contrary, we have no choice but to go there. It’s not a fad, densification,” said the 30-year-old, who says she has “very high” expectations for the National Architectural and Regional Planning Policy (PNAAT) submission, which is being led by Minister for Municipal Affairs Andrée Laforst.

An “absolutely” apt expression

Questioned by La Presse on Monday as he left a dinner conference organized by Trajectoire Québec in Montreal, Minister Bonnardel reiterated that the word “fashion” was “absolutely” appropriate in this context. “The compression is there, I didn’t deny it, he still fought back. It exists and will exist for some time. »

However, he remained cautious, adding that “this feature of densification, as opposed to the enlargement or impossibility of urban boundaries that certain communities may desire, is being overseen by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH)”. “I’ll leave this in my colleague’s garden [Andrée Laforest] “, he said.

Ms. Laforest’s office said it “understands very well the concerns and expectations of the newly elected community officials.” “I will present a clear vision on the whole issue of developing our territory. I have every intention of implementing this strategy,” the minister said on Monday, referring to the PNAAT.

“We see it with the DIX30, we see it in Quebec, along the boulevard Guillaume-Couture in Lévis, and we will see it along the tramway: it’s normal for us to compact along these routes,” acknowledged François Bonnardel.

“You have communities that today don’t have land to build plexes. It is therefore normal that along the main streets – and I have often given the example of the 30 – high-rise buildings are built for people who want to live there. They want to benefit from having all available resources close by,” Mr Bonnardel later added, but reiterated that this type of development “suits some of the population but not others”.

Focus on reserved lanes

The transport minister was also questioned on Monday about a report by the expert committee responsible for advising the government on climate change, which recommends suspending all permits for new projects to increase motorway capacity.

“You have to understand that currently 80% of our money is invested in wealth preservation and 20% in bonuses. I’ve always said that when there is a need to enlarge or widen certain streets, the reserved lanes are extremely important to increase the attractiveness of public transport,” said Bonnardel.

He claims that Quebec is “doing the same thing” with the third link and the streetcar in Quebec. “We will, and I hope, also have a streetcar on the Gatineau side,” he concluded, speaking of a balance that needs to be found between the attractiveness of public transport and the fluidity of the road network.

With Charles Lecavalier, La Presse

“I understand your problem”

Minister Bonnardel’s visit to Montreal came at a time when demonstrations by the National Association of Artisan Truck Drivers (ANCAI) were taking place in several regions, most notably in front of Parliament in Quebec City, to denounce the transportation tariffs granted by the Quebec government which are based on an excessive fuel price. “I understand your problem,” said the minister, pointing out that “the inflation and fuel cost situation is extremely high at the moment.” “We have been in talks with them for a few days. We’ll solve the problem,” he pounded.