Like Mr. Charest's version, Plan Nord 2.0 deals with the economic development of Quebec's vast
territory north of the 49th parallel (1.2 million km2),
the need for rational infrastructure development and the desire to
protect not less than 50% of the Plan Nord territory from
But Plan Nord 2.0 is not just about mines, hydroelectricity,
forestry and roads. Government has been listening and Plan
Nord 2.0 places considerable emphasis on how infrastructure and
economic development must benefit and meaningfully involve local
During the next five years Government will, in consultation with
local communities and the private sector, improve
telecommunications and access to the Plan Nord territory and work
to increase environmental knowledge. To this end Government
has earmarked almost $2 billion to be spent during the first five
years of Plan Nord 2.0.
Three things to keep in mind when looking at Plan Nord 2.0:
It is but one of several plans, strategies and policies to be
unveiled before 2016. For example, Government unveiled its Maritime Strategy in 2014 and expects to
announce its Energy Policy 2016-2025 later this year.
These various plans, strategies and policies are meant to
dovetail with each other and provide a coherent framework for the
economic development of Québec. Interestingly,
considerable care has been given to ensuring that there is plenty
of English material available and that such material appear written
by native English speakers.
Most importantly, these plans, strategies and policies are
meant to confirm that: (i) economic activity in Québec is to
be led by the private sector, (ii) Government's main role is to
provide the necessary framework, infrastructure and regulatory
supervision, and (iii) natural resources in Quebec should be
exploited if this can be done in an environmentally and socially
acceptable manner (Quebec is working on another paper to define
what is social acceptability!).
Item 3 above represents an unprecedented departure from
Québec's economic developmental model of the last
50 years, and it is in this respect that The Plan Nord toward 2035,
2015-2020 Action Plan is most innovative. Lets hope it works
because sustainable development thrives on prosperity.
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