Boiler equipment in the foreground with an engineer analysing dial data, digital tablet in hand.

Bas-Saint-Laurent intervention strategy

Profile and priorities of a region with almost 200,000 inhabitants, most of whom live along the shores of the St. Lawrence

Portrait of the region

Territory and population

The region has 197,385 residents spread over eight regional county municipalities (RCMs): Kamouraska, Témiscouata, Rivière-du-Loup, Les Basques, Rimouski–Neigette, La Mitis, La Matanie and La Matapédia. In its 114 municipalities, 60% of the population is concentrated along the shoreline. Its major urban centres are Rimouski (49,291), Rivière-du-Loup (19,645) and Matane (14,206). The region is home to the Malécite de Viger First Nation.

Economy

The regional GDP (2015) was $7 billion, with 7% of the jobs in the primary sector (three times more than the Quebec average), 13% in manufacturing and 75% in the tertiary sector. Unemployment rate is 8%. The promising economic sectors are bioresources (bio-food, peat, agro-environment, forest products), wind energy, marine science and technology, tourism, and metal products and innovative materials.

Assets

The region has a strong innovation support network that is deployed in five college centres for technology transfer (CCTTs), four Cégeps and one university (UQAR/ISMER). The Bas-Saint-Laurent region is considered the Quebec marine technoregion. Natural resources are abundant, whether for peat moss, forest biomass, seafood, bio-food resources, wind energy, or landscapes for tourism.

Challenges

The region's challenges focus on population decline, an aging population, and an expected labour shortage.


Priorities for action 2021

  1. Businesses supported by CED are innovative and growing
    • Measures will be implemented to provide more enterprises with the opportunity to innovate, digitize, and grow, particularly in collaboration with the centres for technology transfer. The business office will also provide the Accelerated Growth Service.
  2. Businesses and regions supported by CED participate in an economy geared toward clean growth
    • The business office will focus its direct interventions on existing enterprises or start-ups in the sectors associated with clean technology, including wind energy, marine technology, and bioresources. The transfer centres with expertise in this field will be associated with this effort through helping to acquire equipment or, in some cases, through implementing an enterprise start-up and development service offer.
  3. Quebec communities benefit from strategic investment that promotes their economic diversification and participation in an inclusive economy
    • The business office will continue to support communities in difficulty that have mobilized to diversify their economy. It will support the creation and growth of enterprises that help strengthen the regional economy through job creation and retention, among other things. It will contribute to tourism development, an economic diversification driver, by backing projects that receive support from the regional tourism industry and show strong potential for attraction and by helping to promote tourism in markets outside Quebec.
  4. Indigenous peoples benefit from CED programs and participate in Quebec's economic growth
    • The business office will consider projects that promote economic development of First Nations on their land.

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