CANADA: Public pension and insurance investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the government of Québec have agreed the main terms for the province’s participation in the Réseau Électrique Métropolitain automated metro project in Montréal.

The provincial government has committed to provide C$1·28bn, representing 24·5% of the total equity. Terms have also been agreed for the province to earn returns on its investment as a minority shareholder.

CDPQ Infra said the commitment by the province would enable it to further refine the financial structure of the project. CDPQ is investing C$2·67bn, or 51% of the project's share capital, and the federal government is discussing CDPQ’s proposal for it to invest C$1·28bn to hold the remaining 24·5%.

‘Today we are moving a significant step closer to delivering this major electric transit project, which is so important for Montréal and Québec as a whole,’ said CDPQ President & CEO Michael Sabia on March 28.

The 67 km planned REM would link the south shore suburbs, the city centre, the airport, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Deux-Montagnes. Opening is planned for the end of 2020.

  • CDPQ Infra, agricultural union UPA and the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal are to create an agricultural land trust to help to limit urban sprawl around the future South Shore REM station. ‘The creation of a trust and a potential metropolitan agricultural park confirms the long term agricultural mission of this land’ said Denis Coderre, President of the CMM and Mayor of Montréal. ‘Initiatives like these enable us to achieve the metropolitan objective of increasing the area of cultivated land by 6% in the region’.