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Premier Legault to force the Caisse to purchase REM trains made in Quebec

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, flanked by Quebec Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault, left, and Quebec Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Andree Laforest walks to a news conference to announces an action plan on floods, Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

MONTREAL — Premier Francois Legault says his government will force the Caisse to purchase trains made in Quebec as part of the extension of Montreal’s Reseau Express Metropolitain light-rail system.

Legault made the statement Saturday morning at the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s party convention on green issues in Montreal.

The Caisse, Quebec’s pension fund operator, has a mandate to operate independently and free of political interference in its decisions.

Legault said Saturday he never understood why the former Liberal government did not require the Caisse to purchase products manufactured in Quebec.

Environment Minister Benoit Charette echoed the statement, telling reporters there will be a local content requirement for the second phase of the REM transit network. He added that any infrastructure project related to public transit will now have Quebec content requirements.

The CAQ government has pledged to extend the REM, which the Caisse owns, by nearly 40 kilometres to Laval and Chambly. Nearly half of the $6-billion-plus project is being paid for with public funds.

The Canadian Press