Quebec’s Caisse commits C$3 billion to build light-rail system

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, on Friday announced it would commit C$3 billion ($2.3 billion) to build a 42-mile light-rail transit system linking Montreal with three suburban areas as well as the Montreal-Pierre Trudeau International Airport.

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The project, Reseau Electrique Metropolitain, is the first public-private partnership between CDPQ Infra, Caisse’s infrastructure unit, and the Quebec and Canadian governments. Along with the CDPQ Infra commitment, a combined C$2.5 billion is expected to come from the provincial and federal governments, although those entities have yet to approve the commitments.

CDPQ Infra was created by Caisse in July to implement an agreement reached earlier last year with Quebec’s government to develop and manage provincial infrastructure assets.

“Nine months after the launch of CDPQ Infra, we are taking another important step,” said Macky Tall, president and CEO of CDPQ Infra, in a news release about the announcement. “We are committed to delivering the project on time and on budget.”

The project, once completed, will be the third-largest automated rail transport system in the world, after systems in Dubai and Vancouver.

As of Dec. 31, Caisse managed C$248 billion in Quebec provincial and municipal pension and other assets, of which 5% is in infrastructure.

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