Aluminum suspension bridge over the Sables river in Jonquière.

Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean intervention strategy

Profile and priorities of the most densely populated of the resource regions

Portrait of the region

Territory and population

The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region has the highest population of the resource regions at 277,657 (2016), located in 49 municipalities and grouped into 4 regional county municipalities (RCM) and one census metropolitan area (Saguenay). The region also contains an Aboriginal community (Mashteuiatsh).


The strong sectors in the regional economy are wood, aluminum and, to a lesser extent, agri-food and tourism.


The presence of an aluminum industrial cluster, the largest forestry region in Quebec, presence of a university (UQAC) and several research and technology transfer centres, large-scale natural sites (Saguenay Fjord, Lac Saint-Jean, Monts-Valin), strong position in the bio-food sector (AgroBoreal certification).


Less diverse regional economy largely based on the forestry and aluminum production industries, aging population, population decline.

Priorities for action*

  1. Businesses supported by CED are innovative and growing
    • Innovation in the wood and aluminum processing sectors and in bio-food.
    • Adoption of digital technologies by SMEs and Accelerated Growth Service offered by the business office.
    • Increased SME productivity.
    • Enhancement of marketing and exporting activities.
  2. Businesses and regions supported by CED participate in an economy geared toward clean growth
    • Integration of new clean technologies by SMEs.
    • Implementation of projects related to the circular economy.
    • Development of bio-sourced products.
  3. Quebec communities benefit from strategic investment that promotes their economic diversification and participation in an inclusive economy
    • Development and implementation of economic diversification strategies in certain parts of the region.
    • Consolidation and development of the tourism offering.
    • Establishment and development of SMEs, promoting the diversification of the local economy and job creation.
  4. Indigenous peoples benefit from CED programs and participate in Quebec's economic growth
    • Establishment and launch of Aboriginal enterprises.
    • Development and promotion of Aboriginal tourism.
*Particular attention will be paid to the potential impact of mining projects on the northern territory, as well as to any complementary projects in the region that may result from them.

Contact us

Stay tuned for advice and services from CED

Learn more about CED