Trois-Rivières, Québec – Making the St. Lawrence River a high-performance economic corridor that respects ecosystems and riverside communities is the focus of Quebec’s new maritime vision: Avantage Saint-Laurent. Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Montreal region, in the presence of Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, today unveiled this strategy, which has been eagerly awaited by the industry.
A total of $926.9 million is earmarked to implement this new maritime vision between now and 2024-2025.
« The St. Lawrence River is a strong symbol of our identity, » said François Legault, Premier of Quebec. « This seaway, which is a collective heritage to be preserved, will become a source of wealth for all Quebecers.
« This is our government’s ambition, which we are giving concrete expression to today with the launch of the Avantage Saint-Laurent maritime strategy. This vision, which calls for the participation of coastal communities and maritime stakeholders throughout Quebec, will make the blue economy a pillar of economic recovery. «
Three orientations will guide the actions of Avantage Saint-Laurent:
- Provide the St. Lawrence with modern and competitive port infrastructures ($300 million);
- Ensure efficient navigation on the river that respects ecosystems ($232.6 million);
- offer maritime communities promising and sustainable development opportunities ($394.3 million).
With these three major orientations, the government intends to draw on the 3,200 kilometres of opportunities offered by the river to increase our collective wealth.
« It is with great pride that we unveil the vision of Avantage Saint Laurent. It will allow us to exploit the economic, social and environmental potential of this vast territory that is the St. Lawrence. It is the result of extensive consultations and I firmly believe that it will make maritime Quebec more innovative, modern and inclusive, » said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal region.
« Avantage Saint-Laurent is fully consistent with the government’s desire to accelerate economic recovery, stimulate the creation of meaningful jobs and support the sustainable growth of the regions and cities along the river, » added Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region.
- $232.6 million will be devoted to the establishment of an intelligent economic corridor as well as to the management of maritime risks and the protection of ecosystems.
- An intelligent economic corridor will promote the development of an interconnected and autonomous system along the St. Lawrence that will allow river users to have access to the strategic data they need and thus optimize their activities.
- Several observations and needs expressed during the regional tour conducted in 2019 were taken into account in the development of Avantage Saint-Laurent. Consultations were held with representatives of public and institutional organizations, tourism companies, businesses related or not to the maritime sector, environmental organizations and Aboriginal communities.
Serge Le Guellec applauds the new vision
Serge Le Guellec, CEO of Transport Desgagnés and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Les Armateurs du Saint-Laurent, says that « The new maritime vision will allow us to continue to play a leading role in Canada and North America. «
Mr. Le Guellec particularly noted the importance given to:
- Shortsea shipping and the desire to implement river shuttles in the greater Montreal area.
- The implementation of an intelligent economic maritime corridor, another ambitious project that will make use of Quebec’s talents in the cutting-edge fields of information technology and systems engineering.
- Innovative technologies/alternatives to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions and the reduction of noise from maritime transport… Advances that require a strong link with the scientific community in Quebec.
Photo: Louis Rhéaume