Trois-Rivières, Quebec, January 18, 2021 – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
Around the world, tourism was one of the first industries affected by the pandemic; it will also be one of the last to be able to return to full working order. A pillar of the Canadian economy that generates $102 billion a year and represents 4% of all jobs (or the equivalent of 1.8 million workers), tourism is a major vector to diversify and develop the economy.
Entrepreneurs in this sector- composed mostly of SMEs-have demonstrated resiliency, creativity and adaptability since the crisis began. To support them, the Government of Canada, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), is signalling its presence with investments totalling $852,950 to boost tourism in the Mauricie and Lanaudière regions.
Investing in tourism attractions in Mauricie and Lanaudière regions
Once conditions are favourable, the country’s economic recovery can only happen with the support of the tourism sector. To be ready to welcome tourists, we must continue to invest in regional attractions and establishments. With this in mind, the Member of Parliament for Saint‑Maurice-Champlain and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced Government of Canada financial support for the Société de développement des parcs régionaux de la Matawinie (SDPRM).
The SDPRM project involves launching a nautical excursion service to the Lac Taureau regional park, requiring the purchase of a boat and improvements to the marina’s welcome infrastructure. The non-repayable financial contribution of $352,950 from CED, granted under the Quebec Economic Development Program, will enable the boat to be purchased.
Helping tourism organizations make it through the crisis
Since the start of the crisis, the Government of Canada has been supporting organizations in the tourism industry, including through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), deployed in Quebec by CED and its collaborators. As a reminder, the RRRF has made it possible to provide funding and technical support to businesses and organizations to help them maintain their activities. In this way, with the help of Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADCs), Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAEs) and PME MTL, 1167 organizations in Quebec’s tourism sector have received contributions through the RRRF totalling over $44 million. Thanks to this measure, some 9400 jobs have been maintained.
Baluchon Eco-Villégiature (Concept Éco-Plein-Air Le Baluchon inc.) was able to count on $500,000 in support through the RRRF, enabling it to maintain an employment connection with over 125 employees and plan the rehiring of 15 people in the short term.
The tourism industry, which plays a crucial role in the economic, social and cultural life of communities, represents an essential link in regional economic development. Through this support, the Government of Canada is attesting to its commitment to prepare the field for after the pandemic with a view to rebuilding a stronger, more resilient and more just economy for all.
“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the Government of Canada is committed to accompanying key players as they prepare to rebound vigorously after the economic crisis. We have been here since the start of this unprecedented situation, with concrete measures, and we will be here to support tourism as the health situation evolves. We must plan the economic recovery, which can only happen with the contribution of players in the tourism community, so that we can get off to a new start together and be stronger and more resilient.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED
“The CED assistance announced today highlights our willingness to support the tourism industry and our commitment to Canadian businesses, organizations and citizens in these difficult times. The financial contributions granted to Baluchon and the Société de développement des parcs régionaux de la Matawinie are very good news for the Mauricie and Lanaudière regions and their attractiveness. Thanks to Government of Canada investments in the tourism industry, we are ensuring we will be ready to receive tourists from home, and then from around the world!”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Member of Parliament for Saint‑Maurice-Champlain and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The tourism industry has shown exceptional resiliency since the start of the pandemic. Already looking to the future, our entrepreneurs have many projects in mind to quickly help with the economic recovery, which will come soon. The nautical excursion project proposed by the Société de développement des parcs régionaux de la Matawinie is one of these projects which, thanks to the financial support to start up, will be able to be realized quickly, thus adding content to the Lanaudière region’s tourism offering and fostering increased visits and overnight stays in the region.”
Denis Brochu, Chief Executive Officer, Tourisme Lanaudière
- CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 business offices, CED is present to accompany Quebec businesses, supporting organizations and regions into tomorrow’s economy.
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, is the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.
- Recognizing the importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) in supporting local tourism businesses, the Government of Canada proposed as part of the Fall Economic Statement (November 2020) an additional $500 million for RDAs.
- Total funding for the RRRF sits at over $2 billion, and at least 25% of this amount will be granted to boost local tourism businesses, representing over $500 million in support to kickstart tourism by June 2021.