Quebec sets up new northern development secretariat
"In the development of a territory as vast as northern Quebec, the coordination of the entire apparatus of government is essential"
Quebec’s Parti Québécois government said Nov. 14 that it’s moving ahead with plans to establish a Secrétariat au développement nordique to oversee northern development.
“Development of the North will allow Quebec to be among the nations that have made the shift to sustainable development, respectful of the environment and communities,” Premier Pauline Marois said in a Quebec government news release about the new secretariat.
“However, to ensure consistency in the development of a territory as vast as northern Quebec, the coordination of the entire apparatus of government is essential. The government is therefore developing appropriate tools for Quebec to move ahead with the development of the North, while ensuring that development is beneficial to all.”
The new secretariat will located in Quebec City under responsibility of the natural resources minister and Alexandre Cloutier, the minister responsible for the Lower North Shore and northern Quebec, who visited Kuujjuaq with Marois and Ungava MNA Luc Ferland in 2010.
Ferland will also be involved in the new secretariat, the news release said.
Christian Dubois, a longtime Quebec bureaucrat who has visited Nunavik many times, will head the office in Quebec City.
The secretariat replaces the Société du Plan Nord corporation that the former Liberal government wanted in northern Quebec to oversee government money spent under Plan Nord for new infrastructure, such as ports and roads.
A new ministerial action group, chaired by Marois and supported by the finance department, the natural resources department and the future economic development bank, will also focus on major economic projects taking place in northern Quebec.