Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
The Government of Canada recognizes and supports businesses and organizations that are a source of pride in their communities. In Gatineau, certain organizations were directly affected by the protests against health measures held on Parliament Hill from January 22 to February 28, 2022. The occupation, which lasted over one month, had a negative effect on the operations and, as a result, vitality of several businesses as they were already struggling to overcome the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That is why Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament for Gatineau, and Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED, today announced a non-repayable contribution of $500,000 for the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce (CCG). This CED support will enable the NPO to help shopkeepers affected by these protests. The amount of assistance they can receive will be equivalent to eligible expenses, up to $10,000.
The Gatineau Chamber of Commerce’s project involves establishing a relief fund for affected businesses. The assistance, in the form of non-repayable contributions, will be used to cover costs directly connected to protecting a given business during the blockade, costs associated with lost inventory, and fixed operating expenses that cannot be deferred.
The Gatineau Chamber of Commerce is an NPO with a mission to boost the economy of Gatineau and the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais. The voice of Gatineau’s business community, it provides its members with business networking and development, mentoring, and consulting services, as well as visibility and promotion support.
“The Government of Canada is sensitive to the situation facing shopkeepers affected by the Ottawa protests. We are following the situation closely, working with community stakeholders-and the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce is the ideal partner to implement this relief fund and come to their aid. This project will, without a doubt, benefit all Île de Hull businesses, which have been experiencing setbacks since this illegal occupation of Parliament Hill.”
Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament for Gatineau
“I have seen how businesses situated in the Île de Hull quadrant have been impacted by the protests in Ottawa. I have felt their distress and powerlessness, even as they have been striving to stay resilient since the start of the pandemic. Our government recognizes they need an additional boost given the reality of the winter protests; we are here to support them in these difficult times.”
Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board
“Small businesses are the beating heart of Quebec’s communities. It is important for us to support businesses impacted by this past winter’s protests. The assistance our government is providing to the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce will enable them face inventory losses and cover fixed expenses and other costs stemming from this regrettable situation.”
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome-Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED
“The CCG is delighted with this partnership. The government has responded to the calls of distress from Gatineau businesses and stores, and this is entirely to its credit. Since the start of the pandemic and the protests, businesspeople have really been tested financially. This financial boost will allow them to breathe a bit easier. Above all, they will feel supported and validated.”
Stefan Psenak, Executive Director, Gatineau Chamber of Commerce
- This one-time financial assistance has been granted under CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program.
- Establishing the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce relief fund will make it possible to:
- Ensure businesses located in Gatineau’s downtown core continue to operate,
- Provide financial support for businesses that have suffered losses due to the illegal protests that paralyzed Ottawa and Gatineau for more than 32 days, and
- Cover costs such as public utilities, insurance, bank fees, inventory losses, salaries, rent, and other one-time costs to restore or protect businesses due to the protests.
- The relief that will be offered to affected businesses in Gatineau is equivalent to the relief received by affected businesses in Ottawa.
- The amount of assistance will be equivalent to eligible expenses, up to $10,000.
- To be eligible, businesses must:
- Be located in the Île de Hull quadrant
- Employ fewer than 100 people
- Offer in-person services and not have been able to operate normally due to the blockade
- Be registered in Quebec
- Have incurred eligible expenses totalling at least $1000.
- SMEs represent 99.7% of Quebec businesses and contribute to 50% of the province’s GDP.
- CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 regional business offices, CED accompanies businesses, supporting organizations and all regions across Quebec into tomorrow’s economy.