Tourism: A key sector in planning Outaouais’ economic recovery

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Chelsea, 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 a contribution of $1 million to boost tourism in the Outaouais region.

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.

The Member of Parliament for Pontiac and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science), William Amos, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced a repayable contribution of $1 million from the Government of Canada for Nordik Spa-Nature to enable it to rehire 121 employees in Chelsea on a short-term basis and strengthen its operations to pursue growth.

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 contribution granted to Nordik Spa-Nature is very good news for the Outaouais region and its 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!”

William Amos, Member of Parliament for Pontiac and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science)

“I am delighted with this support announced today for an attraction that is a pillar for the Outaouais region. It is extremely valuable because it will also enable us to solidify an accommodation project in the RCM of Collines-de-l’Outaouais. Since the beginning of this crisis, the efforts our federal partners have made to listen to the tourism industry’s difficulties have been greatly appreciated.”

France Bélisle, President and Chief Executive Officer, ATR de l’Outaouais

“Before the pandemic, our business had many projects under development in Canada, including several we had to put on hold starting in March. The repayable contribution obtained through this program is welcome as it helps us cover expenses already committed to in ongoing projects to grow and improve operations. We are confident that the recovery will slowly take off in a few months, and we will once again be able to welcome our faithful visitors.”

Martin Paquette, Founder and President, Groupe Nordik

Quick facts

  • 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.

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