09 Jun 2015

Spring 2015 stands for economic development in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Under the leadership of its Regional Vice-President, Partner Éric Dufour, the region has taken two important positions aimed at stimulating the economy and favouring wealth creation.

2015 Regional Economic Summit

First of all, the firm submitted a brief for the consultations in view of the Sommet économique régional du Saguenay –Lac-Saint-Jean which will be held in Alma on June 18, 2015. Organized by the Quebec Government, this Summit has three objectives:

  • Establish a common finding on the challenges and benefits of regional economic development and diversification.
  • Define strategic fields of intervention with the aim of ensuring the region’s prosperity for the next ten years.
  • Develop synergy among the regional players.

The brief submitted by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (French only) on April 2, 2015, entitled Un virage entrepreneurial et générationnel (An entrepreneurial and generational shift) proposes six axes to improve the balance of regional GDP from small and medium enterprises relative to regional GDP generated by big business. This heavy dependency has lasted too long and affects the stimulation of growth in several regards, the document points out.

According to the brief, the proposed gradual conversion plan should be articulated around the following axes:

  1. Maintain and support the current engines around three traditional sectors: aluminium, forestry and agri-food.
  2. Supporting current mining projects while ensuring the development of a strong mining cluster.
  3. Stimulate wealth creation around SMEs.
  4. Adapt the workforce developed in relation to our needs by creating coherence around elementary and secondary education, CEGEPs and vocational training.
  5. Support the university network while mandating it to develop an entrepreneurial culture.
  6. Favour integration of our youth and SME representatives through regional democracy.

Lac à Paul apatite mine project in Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean

On May 21, 2015, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton again argued the importance of the Ariane Phosphate mining project during the consultations held by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE). The highlights of this wealth-creating project based on responsible exploitation of natural resources were also presented by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton in 2014.

In a position recently transmitted to the BAPE (French only), the firm reiterates the essential contribution of this mining project to the economic upturn of the Saguenay –Lac-Saint-Jean region. As the biggest investment project in the region in the past ten years, the Lac à Paul apatite mine should generate:

  • $9 billion of spending during the mine’s life cycle;
  • 2250 jobs created in the region during construction;
  • 1000 jobs created annually during operation;
  • $4 billion of tax spinoffs for governments;
  • Concrete opportunities for regional businesses that want to act as subcontractors.

According to Éric Dufour, “the region doesn’t have the right to bypass such an opportunity, considering its collective benefit and its role in stabilizing our economic and social structure for future generations”.

Read the recent article published on May 28, 2015 in Le Quotidien (French only), in which Éric Dufour argues the project’s importance for the region.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton always on the alert to defend the economic interests of the regions and their wealth creators

These two positions yet again are evidence of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s keen interest in economic development and the success of dynamic Quebec businesses. The firm cares about the growth of every region of Quebec, and the competitiveness of wealth creators. It will continue to promote the structuring initiatives that allow our society to innovate and prosper.