Investment in the forestry sector - Serge Simard Announces Financial Support for Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois for a Project Valued at More Than $1.6 Million
Petit-Saguenay, May 24, 2012 - The Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife, Minister responsible for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region and MNA for Dubuc, Serge Simard, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, Sam Hamad, and of the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, Julie Boulet, announced today a total financial contribution of $493,636 to Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois for a relaunch project with a total cost assessed at over $1.6 million.
Of this amount, $73,736 will come from the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation. Investissement Québec, for its part, is granting the cooperative a $200,000 loan as well as a $105,000 guarantee on its credit line. In addition, Emploi-Québec is providing $100,000 of financial assistance over two years to set up a joint committee on employment in the context of the business startup, plus a $14,900 wage subsidy.
The project involves implementing a plan to purchase and reopen the Petit-Saguenay sawmill, which has been closed since December 2009. This acquisition will enable Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois to focus on innovation so it can consolidate and diversify the plant's operations. Its priorities include the installation of a saw unit for trembling aspen and the enhancement of existing equipment. Next, secondary and tertiary wood-processing products will be selected for manufacture in the Petit-Saguenay plant, creating additional jobs.
"Our government is particularly proud to be participating in reopening this sawmill, an essential engine of Petit-Saguenay's economy. Resuming its operations is the key to stimulating the municipality's socioeconomic activity. This new start will create about 10 direct jobs and some 30 indirect ones. For all these reasons, we are enthusiastically supporting our partners who have their community's development at heart," declared Serge Simard.
"To remain competitive, we have to create an environment that promotes investments and promising projects in all regions of Québec," affirmed Sam Hamad. "The forest industry is changing, and our government is there to lend its support during this transformation with its emphasis on the cooperative model. We are therefore delighted to partner with Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois."
"At a time when the forest industry is undergoing a real upheaval, Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois's project is a perfect fit with our strategy for developing Québec's forestry sector," emphasized Julie Boulet. "Emploi-Québec's support in setting up a joint committee on employment testifies to the importance the Québec government places on encouraging this industry."
Coopérative de solidarité Valoribois is an initiative of Partenaires pour le développement forestier durable (PDFD), an association of forestry stakeholders in the Charlevoix and Bas-Saguenay regions who share the goal of restoring and developing the area's forest heritage. The cooperative is composed of plant workers, Coopérative forestière de Ferland‑Boileau, Coop de solidarité en développement multiressources les Quatre Temps, the Petit-Saguenay Comité de développement économique (CDE) and PDFD itself. It was established with the aim of enabling players in the Bas-Saguenay area to acquire and continue operating the Petit-Saguenay sawmill.
"The Québec government's assistance will help ensure the long-term maintenance of our operations. To deal with the problem of trembling aspen invading our conifer forests, a great deal of research equipment has been installed on the land and is being monitored periodically by teams of researchers. These new practices constitute a promising avenue for restoring and developing our forest heritage in a sustainable fashion. But to justify them, there must be a nearby mill that will process the high-quality aspen logs harvested. The reopening of the Petit-Saguenay sawmill is thus an important step for the future of our forests, insofar as the sawmill and forest mutually benefit each other," stated Mathieu Vaillancourt, F.Eng., president of Groupe Valoribois.
About Investissement Québec
Investissement Québec's mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.
- 30 -
To receive press releases from Investissement Québec in real time, sign up for the following RSS feed:
1 866 870-0437