Québec Premier François Legault presented his government’s new economic vision on November 12 as Québec enters the post-pandemic recovery chapter after more than 18 months of the COVID-19 crisis.
Titled An ambitious economic vision – a Québec that wins, this announcement is an important step towards the end of the Coalition Avenir Québec government’s current mandate. It comes just a few weeks after the opening of the second parliamentary session, and months before the pre-election period heats up in summer of 2022.
Resting on five main pillars, the new economic vision intends to act on:
The identified priorities will be used to structure government action around five pillars for the final year of the government’s mandate, and before parliamentary proceedings slow down in June 2022.
This presents an opportune moment to try to advance issues that can align with the priorities outlined in the government’s new economic vision.
After the difficulties revealed by the COVID-19 crisis and the paralysis seen in many international trade supply chains, the government continues to focus on local production and consumption. The government wishes to review its procurement policies in order to encourage local businesses to adapt and innovate, to stimulate the Québec domestic market, and to encourage local consumption. In order to set an example at the government level, one of the key measures will be a new government procurement strategy which will make government contracts more accessible to Québec companies.
François Legault’s government will take action to stimulate exports to ensure the growth and improve the profitability of Quebec-based companies. This will include measures to support exporting companies both at home in Quebec, as well as internationally. The objective is to expand Québec production through growth in foreign markets and to strengthen Quebec’s role on the international scene, especially with the help of the new Investissement Québec International branch.
The government wants to encourage research and development of innovative solutions, from information technology to robotization. One of the key measures will be to bring together the academic and business communities in “innovation zones” to support the emergence of centres of excellence. The importance of the digital shift is also described as essential to future government action.
As the Premier has said on several occasions, the government’s objective is to create high paying jobs, and this means, among other things, ensuring that the workforce is properly qualified. Among the key measures, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, will soon publish an action plan on employment and the labour shortage. The action plan will include measures aimed at meeting the needs of the sectors of greatest concern: first, essential sectors, then strategic sectors such as information technology, engineering and construction. The implementation schedule will be spread over the next 5 years.
The Caquist government recognizes this important transition has begun and is accelerating under the influence of climate change. The government hopes to use the coming months to reaffirm Québec’s status as a leader in the energy transition, in transportation electrification, and in the development of economic sectors of the future.