Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik October 17, 2012 - 12:06 pm

Plan Nord still on: Marois

"We remain focused on the development of the North"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

While Quebec’s new Parti Québécois government hasn’t mentioned the former Liberal government’s Plan Nord much since the Sept. 4 election, there’s no taboo attached to that name for the 25-year northern development scheme, Premier Pauline Marois said Oct. 17 on the final day of a trip to Paris.

Speaking at a news conference there, she said “we aren’t in agreement with some aspects of Plan Nord.”

“We’ve always said that,” she said.

But her government still plans to develop northern Quebec, she said, a message that Marois also delivered to France’s major business association and representatives its top resource development companies.

That meeting sparked a headline on a La Presse story that reads “Pauline Marois sells a modified Plan Nord to French bosses.”

“They had questions, many questions. And they wanted to listen to us. And what I said is that we would continue to develop the North, respecting the indigenous peoples and First Nations who occupy that territory, and with a number of changes which we plan to make,” Marois told reporters.

Changes to Plan Nord include levying increased royalties, offering tax credits to companies and adopting a new policy on infrastructure.

That could involve companies chipping in financially or giving Quebec shares if Quebec built a road or a port in northern Quebec, and the company benefitted from this infrastructure.

These changes will be made “in the coming months,” Marois said. “But we remain focused on the development of the North.”

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