Evolving Landscape of Economic Development in Quebec

March 10, 2015

Quebec’s economic development landscape is evolving. 

In late 2014, the Ministère des Affaires Municipales et Occupation du Territoire (MAMOT), the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) and the Federation Québecoise des Municipalités (FQM) signed a “pacte fiscal” in order to contribute to reducing the province’s budget deficit.  The pacte fiscal is a transitional measure (lasting from January 1 – December 31, 2015) that will be renegotiated for a longer term agreement to take effect in 2016. It involves signficiant budgetary reductions for development organizations across the province, and cuts affecting municipalities totalling $300 million.

Montreal is absorbing $75 million, and Quebec City around $20 million. The cuts for many of the development organizations across the province will result in a transfer of authority and funds ($3.4 billion) to the MRCs and municipalities.  Because of this transfer of responsibilities, many of the decisions regarding how the budgets are to be handled will differ from region to region and from municipality to municipality. 

Some, such as the Carrefour jeunesse emploi will have their mandate changed, while others are losing most of their budget (e.g. Solidarité rurale du Québec)

le Soleil: Pacte fiscal: Labeaume «comprend» les coupes de 20 millions $ pour Québec


To help better understand this situation, the following is a selection of information that is publicly available and, while not exhaustive, provides an overview for consideration.

Corporation de développement économique communautaire (CDEC) responsible for the mobilization and “concertation” of local initiatives related to economic and social development (13 situated around Montreal, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Québec) – Funded with a combination of federal, provincial and municipal money, the CDECs are located in larger urban centres and many had a mandate to deliver services of CLDs. With provincial funding being cut and structures reorganized in Montréal, the future of continued federal support is uncertain.  Overall, their future unknown at this time.

Le Journal de Montréal: Abolir les CLD pour créer un guichet unique?
Métro: Avenir des CLD – seulement six organismes couvriront l’ïle de Montréal
CDÉC de St-Léonard: Communiqué – La CDEC Saint-Léonard dupée dans un scénario écrit d’avance par la Ville de Montréal


Centre local de développement (CLD) support local economic development through support for businesses and creating environments where businesses can thrive (120 across Quebec). The CLDs are seeing a 55% budget reduction. ($72 million to $32 million) and MRCs are to determine their fate.

The general feeling across the province is to maintain some of the expertise from the CLD, but staff cuts are expected.  It is thought that many of the rural and economic development agents and some of the business counsellors will remain and that most of the job cuts will be at an administrative level. Even Montreal has declared that it may not be necessary to maintain 18 CLDs but there is the desire to continue a network of CLDs and CDECs to maintain Montreal’s status as the economic development hub.

The “Local Investment Funds” will be transferred from CLD to MRC without any reduction.  (Pacte fiscal)

The Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations along with Investissement Quebec will accompany the MRCs and support them with their new responsibilities.  Networking and communication between MRCs will be encouraged. (Pacte fiscal) many announcements have been coming out in early Decemeber about specific MRCs.

Otherwise, the future unknown at this time as the decisions lie in the hands of the MRCs.

Métro : Montréal mettra fin aux ententes avec ses 18 CLD
News Release:
Redécoupage des CLD/CDEC : une perte d’expertise pour le développement économique montréalais

The Chronicle:
West Island CLD safe from abolition

Solidarité Rurale du Quebec (SRQ), which promotes development and revitalization of rural communities across Quebec had initially seen a 75% cut of their budget, leaving them with an annual budget of $250,000.  After not receiving their last payment from the province, SRQ closed their office on December 9; laying off all employees. At a special general meeting held on December 10, the decision was made by the members present to continue to organize around the structure, the finances and the continued advocacy role for the organization.

Le Nouvelliste: Solidarité rurale: «Le mouvement n’est pas mort»
Le Devoir: Solidarité rurale: «Québec coupe les vivres au porte-voix du monde rural

Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi (CJE) supports young people 16-35 in finding work, returning to school or starting a business (111 across Quebec) – According to the model determined by Emploi Quebec, the CJE will only be funded by the province to work on files of youth between the ages of 18 and 35 who are recipients of financial assistance of “last resort” and eligible for EI.  This will now exclude all youth 16 and 17 years of age and older youth who do not meet eligibility criteria. This, according to CJE records, will make 4 out of 5 youth ineligible for their services.

L’Écho de La Tuque: Les CJE de la Mauricie sollicitent les députés régionaux

Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) the official interlocutor with the government on matters of regional development (21 across Quebec) is abolished as it is known. There are several employees who remain to manage the regional mayors table and agreements and contracts will be handed over to the MRCs.  The Fonds de développement régional (FDR) will be maintained until 2015 but decisions will be made at MRC level for priorities (Pacte fiscal).

The Quebec government looks to create a new Fonds de developpement des territoires made up of the existing fonds de développement régional and a few other existing rural development envelopes (the balance of the Local Economic Development Fund, MRC Assistance Program funds, the Pacte Rural, and the funds made up of the existing rural development agents).

The regional mayors table, without any community representation other than elected officials, will be the only regional development table.

le Soleil: L’abolition des CRÉ aussi dans le pacte fiscal

Municipalité Régionale du comté (MRC) formal groupings of municipalities led by an elected “préfet” or warden (87 across Quebec and 14 agglomerations (Laval, Gatineau, Iles de la Madeleine) – As with all responsibilities listed above, the MRC becomes the economic development centre and decision maker.


Updated from a post originally published by CCEDNet member CEDEC

Comments?  Updates?  Log in and add your thoughts below.