The Société de développement économique de la région de Thetford (SDE) takes stock of the last ten years in terms of economic development in the MRC des Appalaches. The last decade (2011 to 2020) has enabled the Thetford region to take gigantic strides in terms of economic development. According to data from the SDE region of Thetford, more than $ 1.5 billion was invested in the MRC during this period. Several files have been carried out simultaneously and the results are convincing. SDE professionals carried out more than 15,000 interventions in more than 3,000 cases or projects between 2011 and 2020.
“Over the past ten years, we have seen the region transform itself. Projects are being carried out, investments are being made, infrastructures are taking place. It’s quite a change! The cynicism of the early 2000s about the region has disappeared. We can be proud of how far we’ve come and we can look forward to the next ten years with enthusiasm. Of course, there will be challenges, but we have shown that we are capable of meeting them. A decade marked by economic growth, infrastructure development, the inauguration of projects and political representation is coming to an end in the Thetford region. This foundation of achievement is certainly a guarantee for a promising future and another decade of development to come. “says SDE president Marc-Alexandre Brousseau.
The SDE Thetford region has been active in providing the region with essential development infrastructures such as :
- Connecting the region to Gaz Métro’s gas network in 2015;
- The expansion of this network in the Black Lake, Thetford Airport, Adstock and Sainte-Clotilde-de-Beauce sectors in 2017;
- The convention center, in 2018;
- Reconstruction of Highway 112 in 2013;
- Wind farm Des Moulins, in 2013;
- A study on logistical issues, in 2011, and an inspection report on the rehabilitation of the former Quebec Central Railway line between Vallée-Jonction and Black Lake, in 2019, which will soon lead to the launch of rehabilitation work on this section;
- An agri-food incubator, in 2018;
- And finally, the expansion of industrial parks and the construction of industrial motels, to name a few.
In 2014, far, far ahead of Montreal and Quebec City, the Quebec city that stands out the most for its entrepreneurial dynamism is… the Thetford Mines region! Thetford is the #1 entrepreneurial community in Quebec, according to the 2014 ranking “Les collectivités entrepreneuriales”, published by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In 2019, Thetford ranks first in Canada in the top ten medium-sized cities for entrepreneurial policies. This is the result of CFIB’s annual ranking of Canada’s entrepreneurial communities.
Nominations that are no stranger to the efforts and initiatives undertaken by SDE over the years to support our entrepreneurs in the different facets of their development, such as, among others :
- The implementation of «La semaine le Goût d’entreprendre» (Entrepreneurial camp and conferences for high school students), since 2011;
- The Young Leaders Circle, in 2012;
- The SME Succession Program;
- The Entrepreneurial Leadership Summer Camp;
- La Grande journée des petits entrepreneurs, since 2015;
- Les Dragons Desjardins, since 2015;
- The Défi Ose Entreprendre (Call for proposal for financial support to new businesses)
- Maître D’oeuvre (Construction directory);
- The recruitment gateway to Europe;
- The creation of the Table de concertation régionale en immigration;
- Accompanying our businesses during international recruitment missions;
- And recently, the launch of the Sustainable Construction Hub for the Thetford region to name a few.
In order to stimulate “Le goût d’entreprendre” in the region, the SDE launched the book of the same name in 2017, which features the stories of 30 successful entrepreneurs in the region.
Finally, in 2015, the SDE implemented two major and unique tools in our entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region: Espace entrepreneuriat région Thetford (E2RT) and the Fonds Capital expansion région Thetford (CERT).
The last decade has been a prosperous and structuring one for the tourism sector as well, which will surely build on these achievements in the coming years.
As part of these initiatives supported by the SDE, we would like to highlight the following :
- The implementation of the Desjardins Tourism Development Fund in 2013;
- The Fonds de promotion touristique (Tourism promotion fund), in 2016;
- The completion of the strategic plan for the development of the Mount Adstock recreational tourism centre in 2017;
- The completion of a comprehensive strategic tourism plan in 2016;
- The launch of the platforms Régionthetford360.com and Quoi Faire Région Thetford, in 2018;
- The launch of the magazine Tourisme région Thetford, in 2018;
- The establishment of the Strategic Committee for Tourism Promotion and Development, in 2018;
- Les Jeux du Québec, in 2017/2018;
- The congress accompaniment service, in 2017;
- The creation of the Consultation table for hiking trails and strategic plan;
- The creation of the Local mining heritage consultation table;
- The VIP access program for tourism stakeholders;
- The development of historical and heritage tours;
- The Tourism Innovation Challenge;
- The Boisé du Domaine (Camping and activity center);
- The King Mine Historic Centre;
- The Studio-Théâtre Paul Hébert;
- The Strategic Plan for Outdoor Development (South Sector);
- Le Goût de chez nous (Promotion of local producers);
- The Gourmet Stops;
- And by completing the creation of the Bureau de gestion des évènements (Events Management Office) in 2018.
- In 2020, the tourist reception office (tourism office) was completely renovated. A major project was undertaken to modernize the installations and offer visitors a welcoming environment.
As nothing happens by chance, political representations have multiplied over the last ten years to advance our issues and promote projects in our region.
In this regard, we can cite some of the issues that have occupied the SDE in recent years :
- The issue of connecting the region to the natural gas network;
- The implementation of a wind farm in the region;
- The banning of asbestos in Canada in 2017;
- Fiscal measures for resource regions;
- Reconstruction of Highway 112;
- The Canadian Economic Diversification Initiative for Chrysotile-Dependent Communities in 2012 ($50 million federal funding);
- The Economic Diversification Fund of the MRC des Appalaches, in 2018 ($50 million provincial fund);
- The Interdepartmental Table;
- Inventory and management of asbestos and asbestos mining residues. (The Office of Environmental Public Hearings 2020);
- Innovation Zones;
- The rehabilitation of the railway line;
- The sustainability of Service Canada, in 2012;
- The Domaine Escapad project at Mont Adstock;
- Recapitalization of the Capital expansion Région Thetford (CERT) fund;
- The valorization of mine tailings;
- Follow-up on The Office of Environmental Public Hearings recommendations;
- The Laurentia project (Port of Quebec City);
- A Youth Consultation (Vision Jeunesse) project, in 2011;
- The Black Lake revitalization committee;
- The South Sector Diversification Fund;
Organization of economic development on the territory
The last ten years have not been easy in terms of structuring and organizing economic development in the MRC des Appalaches. Following the abolition of the CLDs in 2014 and a 55% cut in the SDE’s operating budgets by the Liberal government at the time, at the request of the MRC, the SDE presented a plan to reorganize the economic development authorities on the territory.
Following these drastic budget cuts, at the end of 2014, we have taken several steps to preserve, in their entirety, front-line services to entrepreneurs in the Thetford region. Entrepreneurs and promoters have retained access to high quality coaching, growth capital and investment services. In 2015, the mayors of the MRC des Appalaches unanimously confirmed the SDE in its 40-year mandate. In 2016, SDE and Tourisme Région Thetford integrated their activities.
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Source / Information :
Vicky Lachance, Economic Development Commissioner
418 338-2188 ext. 228