Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region Jonatan Julien today unveiled the new plan specific to the northern territory in the presence of representatives of the territory. Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs Ian Lafrenière and Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region Pierre Dufour accompanied him. The President of the Assembly of Partners of the Société du Plan Nord and Mayor of Chibougamau Manon Cyr and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Société du Plan Nord (SPN) Élizabeth Blais also participated. Several representatives of the territory also joined Minister Julien virtually in an uncluttered, transformed room.
The 2020-2023 NAP responds to the priorities put forward by stakeholders in northern Québec. It seeks to offer the communities concerned the appropriate tools to enable them to fully inhabit their territory. The Québec government will thus invest $778.6 million, over half the amount stipulated in the 2020-2023 NAP, to support businesses and individuals settled and active north of the 49th parallel.
Some 20 Québec government departments and bodies have jointly elaborated the 49 socioeconomic initiatives in the 2020-2023 NAP. They are defined in the document published online.
The 2020-2023 NAP also makes provision for three separate financial support programs to respond to the specific needs of organizations and promoters in the field. Some $11 million has been earmarked under the Northern Initiatives Fund. The first call for projects will be launched on December 14, 2020.
The Société du Plan Nord will carry out the 2020-2023 NAP. The SPN has a remit to contribute to the integrated, coherent development of Québec’s northern territory, in accordance with the key directions defined by the government. It is doing so in collaboration with the representatives of the regions, the Aboriginal nations concerned, and the private sector.
• The 2020-2023 NAP comprises 49 socioeconomic initiatives broken down under four key directions:
o optimized access to the northern territory;
o a robust, diversified economic fabric;
o an attractive, dynamic living environment.
o a northern environment to be preserved.
• It includes three programs to respond in real time to the priority needs of northern communities:
o the Northern Initiatives Fund, which has two sections:
-community development and environmental conservation;
o the northern workforce training program;
o the community greenhouse development program.
For the benefit of the First Nations and the Inuit, the seven initiatives under the 2020-2023 NAP that concern them specifically have been incorporated into the 2017-2022 Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Development of the First Nations and Inuit.