Quebec will maintain economic objectives despite pandemic: minister

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The Legault government will not change its game plan to relaunch the province’s economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said on Friday.

Fitzgibbon said the objectives of increasing prosperity and improving Quebec’s trade balance internationally remain in place, adding that “we are capable” of promoting regional business development even while some regions suffer from the effects of the pandemic.

The minister said regional economic development committees, abolished by the previous Liberal government, would be revived and serve as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs in all of the province’s 17 administrative regions.

Fitzgibbon added the committees would respect gender-parity once they are formed.

The sectors of aerospace, electrification, life sciences and agriculture are deemed priorities by the government, Fitzgibbon said, and the province would intervene if companies in those sectors faced financial difficulty because of the pandemic.

Investissement Québec president Guy Leblanc said the government investment arm wanted to increase the number of environmentally friendly projects financed by the province, and that any business venture not meeting environmental standards would have to produce “important attenuating factors” before being considered for public investment.