Legault presents five strands of post-pandemic economic policy

The prime minister says “buy Quebec”, exports, innovation, labor shortages and the green economy are covered in the policy.

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Prime Minister François Legault unveiled a new post-pandemic economic policy for Quebec on Friday, covering “buying Quebec”, exports, innovation, labor shortages and the green economy.


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Presenting the plan at a press conference at Shawinigan, Legault promised that many announcements will flow in the coming months under the policy.

“Creating wealth is not an end in itself,” he said. “But it gives us the means for our ambitions. If we want to be able to invest in the environment, in our social programs, we need resources ”.

He added that he is convinced that his economic vision will allow Quebec to close the gap with Ontario in per capita gross domestic product. The latter’s GDP is 13 percent higher than Quebec’s, he said.

Legault said his government’s “mini-budget,” due to be released Nov. 25, will provide a sample of upcoming announcements. However, he presented certain elements that he said will be adopted. These include a controlled certification to identify products made in Quebec and to encourage Quebec consumers to buy local products.


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To set an example, Legault also announced that his government will introduce a bill to ensure that provincial departments and corporations buy more from Quebec suppliers.

“The government is the largest customer in Quebec,” he said. “My goal is for there to be more content from Quebec.”

Legault noted, however, that international contract rules will continue to be respected.

The government also plans to help Quebec companies with their exports, the prime minister said. Quebec’s delegations abroad have already made it a priority to find clients in the United States, Europe and Asia, he said.

Additionally, to promote product marketing and export, Legault said he would like to create innovation zones where colleges and universities are more in touch with entrepreneurs. Due to the labor shortage, companies must also accelerate their robotization and digitization, he said.


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Labor Minister Jean Boulet will soon present a plan to address the understaffing, Legault said. Quebec wants to support people who will need to re-qualify in new sectors, he said.

Legault said about 200,000 jobs need to be filled in the province. Priority will be given to essential services and in the “fields of the future” that will offer salaries “with added value,” such as the green economy, he said.

Immigration could be “part of the solution” to fill the labor shortage, Legault said. However, Quebec has already reached its integration capacity with the arrival of 50,000 newcomers on average per year, he said.

“If we want to continue speaking French for generations to come, there is a limit to the number of immigrants that can enter,” Legault said. He added that 50 percent of immigrants who entered Quebec under previous liberal governments did not speak French.


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Legault also said that economic growth and fighting climate change are reconcilable goals.

“Our vision is that we are capable and that we have to do both,” he said.

The prime minister noted, for example, that Quebec stands out for its clean and affordable energy production through hydroelectricity.

“There are many companies that want to come and invest in Quebec to improve their greenhouse gas emissions record,” he said. “It is often the manufacturers that offer very high wages.”

The government also wants to take advantage of the province’s existing experience in electrifying transportation, such as trains and buses, Legault said, adding that his government also wants to develop the hydrogen and bioenergy sectors.



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