Canada: Quebec Government Launches Maritime Strategy

On June 29, the Government of Quebec launched the province's first maritime strategy. The strategy covers the 15-year period from 2015 to 2030. The government is anticipating that, over that period, public and private investments totalling $9 billion will stimulate the creation of 30,000 direct jobs and significant growth in imports and exports.

The strategy includes three five-year action plans. The first, which covers the period from 2015 to 2020, was announced concurrently with the strategy. It is accompanied by a $1.5 billion financial framework and many of the measures it contains are already set out in the Quebec Budget 2015-2016.

The strategy is underpinned by two core principles: (i) a planned, integrated approach involving the various levels of government and civil society, and (ii) a sustainable development perspective. To define its priority initiatives, the government has adopted three strategic directions: (i) sustainably develop the maritime economy; (ii) protect the maritime territory and its ecosystems; and (iii) enhance Quebecers' quality of life. In the action plan, these directions are broken down into a series of strategic priorities, which are, in turn, broken down into priority actions and accompanied by a budget envelope.

The inevitable interrelationships between the economic, environmental and social spheres mean that some of these strategic priorities, summarized below according to strategic direction, overlap.

Sustainably develop the economy

The government wants to invest in infrastructure. Actions will include creating a new program, administered by the Ministry of Transportation, to support port and intermodal infrastructure projects in the freight transportation sector. Also, financial support will be provided for the construction of access roadways to port and intermodal sites. Infrastructure design will have to incorporate measures to adapt to climate change. Consequently, the government intends to review the areas of the St. Lawrence River that are prone to flooding.

The government plans to promote the establishment of logistical hubs, i.e. multimodal industrial parks that cluster together business and distribution centres. Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Contrecoeur are proposed as hub sites because they are well positioned and complementary.

The development of industrial port zones, which should promote better integration of manufacturing firms into global supply chains, is also an integral part of the strategic priorities. Planned actions include decontaminating land under the government's responsibility in order to make it available for investments in such zones.

The government also plans to support Quebec shipyards through actions including the introduction of tax measures (additional capital cost allowance of 50% for shipbuilding or renovation carried out by Quebec shipyards, a tax-free reserve for Quebec shipyards and maintaining the refundable tax credit for the construction or refitting of ships) and cooperation with the federal government in renewing the Canadian ship fleet.

The development of short sea shipping and the use of maritime transport to ship alternative energy sources, including liquefied natural gas, will also be encouraged.

In addition, the government plans to promote the development and modernization of maritime tourism by, among other things, creating a maritime tourism supply office (Bureau de l'offre touristique maritime), funding reception facilities in Quebec City and Montreal for international cruises and funding tourism projects on the shores of the St. Lawrence River.

The strategy also includes plans to modernize and ensure the long-term survival of the fishing and aquaculture industry by focusing on three development areas: marine biotechnology, aquaculture and sustainable fishing. The government plans to support the efforts of fishing fleets seeking environmental certification, extend and enhance the refundable tax credit for the Gaspésie and certain maritime regions of Quebec and maintain measures to encourage the next generation of workers, such as capital gains exemptions and the program for young fishermen and fisherwomen.

To meet workforce challenges, the government intends to set up an issue table to better match employers' needs and available training and support workforce skills development. New types of training will be introduced in promising sectors (marine biotechnology, logistics and applied research) and initial training will be adapted to include new health, safety and environmental protection requirements. Other planned actions include establishing a vocational study program in seamanship and enhancing the tax credit for an on-the-job training period. Lastly, an assessment will be made of various measures designed to promote the maritime trades.

To foster the development of knowledge in the maritime sector, the government intends to create the Réseau Québec Maritime (RQM), a network bringing together existing research and development structures and expertise for the purpose of addressing maritime issues. Moreover, international cooperation will be promoted through, among other things, the establishment of a France-Quebec institute on maritime matters.

Lastly, the government plans to promote Quebec's maritime industries internationally through Export Québec's Programme Exportation and by developing a strategy to attract direct foreign investment to Quebec.

Protect the maritime territory and its ecosystems

To protect the biodiversity of freshwater and seawater ecosystems, the government wants to create a representative network of marine protected areas by increasing the protected marine area from 1.3% today to 10% in 2020 in order to meet international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity. This action is to be carried out in conjunction with the federal government under the Canada-Quebec deliberations of the Bilateral Group on Marine Protected Areas. Places where marine protected areas could be created include the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the American Bank in the Gaspésie. Factors considered in creating marine protected areas will include the habitats of plant and animal species at risk such as the beluga. Actions to restore and ensure the sustainability of fishing in Lac Saint-Pierre will also be supported. Lastly, adequate response capabilities will have to be structured to counter threats posed by invasive aquatic species, which will require the cooperation of several stakeholders, a knowledge acquisition effort and prevention, early detection and eradication measures.

The second strategic priority is to improve the management of risks associated with maritime shipping. The government intends to work closely with the federal government to upgrade the prevention, preparation and response program for maritime shipping in Quebec's territory. Also, the government will provide financial support for research and knowledge acquisition aimed at increasing local, regional and provincial emergency response expertise in the area of marine hydrocarbon spills. Municipalities will be provided with support in upgrading their emergency plans and the Quebec civil response system will be relied upon to implement an integrated approach to managing the risks associated with potential maritime incidents. Moreover, a centre of expertise specialized in preventing, preparing for and providing an environmental-emergency response to hazardous substance spills in the St. Lawrence River will be set up in the Îes-de-la-Madeleine.

The government also intends to leverage its maritime strategy to help fight climate change. Focus will be placed on two programs in the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change: the Programme visant la réduction ou l'évitement des émissions de gaz à effet de serre par le développement du transport intermodal (a program to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions through the development of intermodal transportation) and the Programme d'aide gouvernementale à l'amélioration de l'efficacité du transport maritime, aérien et ferroviaire (a government assistance program to improve maritime, air and rail transport efficiency). The use of alternative energy sources in maritime shipping, including liquefied natural gas, the modernization of ships and handling equipment, and projects involving the use of electric power sources, such as the Montreal and Quebec City dockside connection projects, will be promoted and encouraged.

Enhance Quebecers' quality of life

To reach this objective, the government wants to foster local economic spinoffs by banking on SME and regional growth. The measures announced include reducing the tax burden on SMEs, financing SME investment projects and establishing a one-stop shop, Entreprises Québec, to facilitate access to government programs and services.

To enhance the ferry-service offering and open up the communities involved, the government plans to support the Société des traversiers du Québec (the government-run corporation responsible for ferry service in Quebec) in improving its service offering and increasing ridership. It also plans to work with the federal government and the Nunavik and James Bay communities to resolve issues related to northern marine infrastructure and to any marine infrastructure rehabilitation work that may be needed.

Social acceptability and community involvement are key to the success of the maritime strategy. The government therefore intends to put in place means by which information may be shared, community members consulted and cooperation fostered, such as regional issue tables or the St. Lawrence Forum. The government also intends to revitalize certain territories connected with marine facilities and to promote maritime culture and heritage.

Another priority action consists in attracting young people to the regions and providing them with incentive to stay. Young people wishing to settle in the regions would be supported in doing so through such things as job creation in the different sectors of the maritime economy and tax credits.

Lastly, efforts are planned to combat coastal erosion and support the many communities affected by this phenomenon. Those efforts will focus on securing infrastructure and buildings and preventing social and economic impacts. They will include setting up a coastal erosion emergency fund and supporting the affected municipalities in analyzing priority actions and implementing adaptation and prevention measures against a backdrop of climate change. The government will support research on coastal erosion and ensure that the revision of the St. Lawrence water-level regulation plans reflects Quebec's interests.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice. We provide the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3800 lawyers based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members ('the Norton Rose Fulbright members') of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.