Freshly cut tree trunks stacked in the foreground, surrounded by mature trees under the sun’s rays.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue–Nord-du-Québec intervention strategy

Profile and regional priorities of this immense region that accounts for 2% of the population of Quebec and 59% of the province’s land mass

Portrait of the region

Territory and population

Similar administrative regions in terms of economy and structure / 192,469 inhabitants / 128 municipalities / 2% of population, 3% of economic mass and 59% of Quebec’s area / Low density (c. 3 inhabitants per km2) / RCMs with low economic growth (except Rouyn-Noranda and Vallée-de-l’Or) / Unemployment rate of 5.6% to 6.3% in the 4th quarter of 2016 versus 6.1% for all of Quebec.


Main industries revolve around sustainable exploitation of mining, forestry and water power potential / Exportable knowledge and expertise for SMEs / Transition of traditional sectors to new products, processes and innovative business models, clean technologies and integration of digital technologies / Presence of knowledge institutions (UQAT, CTRI and others) / Tourism and agri-food important for diversification / Shortage of qualified labour / Sensitive to economic cycles and fluctuations in the mining and forestry sectors (volatility of commodity prices, softwood lumber crisis, etc).


Importance of natural resources (mines, forestry) / Young and expanding population (Eeyou-Istchee and Nunavik) / Importance of business opportunities related to northern development (major mining projects, northern tourism, adoption of clean technologies to reduce fossil fuel use in remote communities, etc) / Low rate of educational attainment and scarcity of qualified labour / Region remote from main markets / Low population density with dispersal over a vast area.

First Nations and Inuit

7 Algonquin communities, 9 Cree communities and 14 Inuit communities / 22% of the population of the two regions and 43% of Quebec’s First Nations and Inuit population

Priorities for action

  1. Businesses supported by CED are innovative and growing
    • Priority will be given to projects that enable enterprises to join the digital revolution and enhance their productivity by adopting and integrating computerized and information technologies. Innovative and growing SMEs seeking to start or increase their integration into global value chains will also get support.
  2. Businesses and regions supported by CED participate in an economy geared toward clean growth
    • The business office will give priority of action to supporting start-ups and expansion and growth of SMEs which are developing and exporting new processes, products and equipment serving clean technologies and the circular economy. The business office will also support enterprises which adopt clean technologies in order to boost their productivity and reduce their environmental footprint (eg: development of new forest products that maximize use of wood fibre, integration of green energy into industrial processes).
  3. Quebec communities benefit from strategic investment that promotes their economic diversification and participation in an inclusive economy
    • Priority will be given to projects that aim to mobilize drivers of economic development such as elaboration of economic development strategies using targeted community assets that enable job-creating local/regional SMEs to start up, expand and endure. The business office will also provide direct support to these SMEs commensurate with their contribution to economic diversification and job creation.
  4. Indigenous peoples benefit from CED programs and participate in Quebec's economic growth
    • The business office will support projects that contribute to the economic development of Indigenous and Inuit peoples, for instance projects that enable Indigenous enterprises and Indigenous/non-Indigenous joint ventures to break into the value chains of major northern projects as suppliers of goods and services (eg: business accommodation near large mining sites).
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