Polluting vehicles: no question of increasing the tax burden of motorists, assures Legault

François Legault ensures that there is no question of increasing the tax burden on motorists, even if the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) is interested, in a call for tenders, in the possibility of imposing a surcharge such as the one proposed by Québec solidaire. But it is not excluded in the long term, warns François Bonnardel.

• Read also: Environment: Quebec is considering a tax that Legault ridiculed

According to the documents consulted by our Bureau of Inquiry, the MTQ wishes to study not one, but six ways of compensating for the eventual loss of revenue related to the gas tax by imposing, among other things, a tax on polluting vehicles.

This solution, already in place in some European countries, is reminiscent of the surcharge put forward by Québec solidaire (QS) that François Legault demonized throughout the election campaign by calling it an « orange tax ». .

Hard to swallow for QS

By reading the details of this invitation to tender in the pages of the Log“I swallowed my coffee crookedly and I fell out of my chair”, reacted the united deputy Ruba Ghazal, who sees, in this news, a demonstration of the hypocrisy of François Legault.

« [Le ministre sortant de l’Environnement] Benoit Charette told us that it was going to cause a social crisis, ”recalled Mme Ghazal.

However, some of the scenarios that the MTQ wants to study “go much further than what Québec solidaire proposes”, she observed, referring to the exemptions that her party promised for workers and motorists in remote regions, by example.

“Me, what I see is that there has been a lack of transparency [de la part de la CAQ]. […] Was François Legault aware [de cet appel d’offres]? […] We were honest and we were brave with Quebecers,” said Ms.me Ghazal.

In any case, one day or another, she notes, the government will have no choice but to see to it, because of the reduction in revenue related to the gasoline tax caused by the increase in the number of electric vehicles.

Legault has not changed his mind

Invited to react, the entourage of the Prime Minister stressed that it is only a call for tenders.

“It absolutely does not change our position. We promised it, we said it, we repeat it: there is no question of increasing the tax burden of Quebecers, ”insisted the press secretary of François Legault, Ewan Sauves.

“These are only scenarios looked at by the MTQ, in the long term. But we rule out from the outset increasing the tax burden on Quebecers, » he assured, arguing that the Coalition Avenir Québec wishes, on the contrary, to put more money back in the pockets of taxpayers, in particular with a anti-inflation check and tax cuts.

Not excluded in the long term, specifies Bonnardel

While on Mario Dumont’s show, the outgoing Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, did not rule out the addition of new taxes in the long term, while assuring however that there will be none during the mandate. which begins.

« In the next four years, unlike the orange tax, we have no intention of adding a new tax, not at all there, none, » he insisted on LCN.

Since road infrastructures are currently financed at 80% by the gas tax and the government has set itself the objective that 100% of vehicles sold in 2035 be “green”, Mr. Bonnardel believes that it is “ normal and healthy » that the Ministère des Transports study new ways of financing the road network.

“We project ourselves in 15-20 years by saying to ourselves: if we have a target of 100% green vehicles in 2035, how are we going to finance our new infrastructures?” he wondered.

With the collaboration of Gabriel Côté, QMI Agency

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