On November 23, some thirty heads of diplomatic missions posted in Ottawa attended a presentation on the Plan Nord by the Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister Responsible for the Plan Nord, Nathalie Normandeau, and the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand. The activity included a tour of the Radisson hydroelectric installations in Baie-James.
“The Plan Nord has been generating a great deal of interest internationally. This meeting enabled us to promote awareness of our approach and its objectives. We demonstrated through this forum that it is possible to develop new economic spaces with northern communities by leveraging best practices in sustainable development,” said Minister Normandeau.
The purpose of the Hydro-Québec hydroelectric installations tour was to highlight Québec’s energy expertise and heighten awareness of it among foreign diplomats. “These hydroelectric installations are a showcase of Québec’s hydroelectric energy know-how. With the Plan Nord, our goal is to make the most of this renewable energy to drive this sector of economic activity forward. We will continue to do so in a socially responsible way,” added Minister Normandeau.
In addition to energy development, the Plan Nord will integrate the development of bio-foods, forestry, mining, tourism and wildlife supported by transportation and communication infrastructures. The area involved is located above the 49th parallel and includes Nunavik, Baie-James, the northern portion of Lac-Saint-Jean and a large portion of the Côte-Nord region. It represents 72% of Québec’s land base or 1.1 million km2 and is inhabited by 1.6% of Québec’s total population.
“Québec is a leader among federated states in the sustainable development of its resources. We are proud of Northern Québec’s potential, particularly with respect to hydroelectric development. The fact that such an impressive number of foreign diplomats are now interested in our approach is a first,” indicated Minister Arcand.