Today, the Government of Quebec unveiled the 2018-2022 government strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories. The fruit of a vast consultation that enabled every region to determine its priorities, this strategy will guide the government’s actions for the coming years. It is a true culture shift. From now on, decisions will be made from the bottom up. In fact, the government will align its actions with the priorities identified by regional stakeholders. Ministries and government agencies will also have to adapt their actions to meet these priorities.
Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, officially launched the strategy in Shawinigan. For the occasion, he was accompanied by Julie Boulet, Minister of Tourism, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Laviolette; Marc H. Plante, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for the Regions and MNA for Maskinongé; Richard Lehoux, President of the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités; and Michel Angers, member of the Board of Directors of the Union des Municipalités du Québec and Mayor of Shawinigan.
A true revolution is underway at the municipal and regional level. We have already recognized municipalities as local governments, and today we are going even further with the biggest decentralization of power in the municipal history of Quebec. With the new strategy to ensure the occupation and vitality of territories, the government will really be working for the regions. In the new Quebec, the regions are in charge.
– Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region
The strategy will allow the government to focus its actions on the specific needs of each community in Quebec. Take Mauricie, for example, a region that I am proud to represent as a minister. The strategy will respond to the problems of rural exodus and an aging population, which are more severe in our community than in the rest of the province.
– Julie Boulet, Minister of Tourism, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Laviolette
The change to the regional governance model will ensure not only better dialogue, but also actions that are better suited to regions’ needs as well as decisions that better represent citizens.
– Marc H. Plante, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for the Regions and MNA for Maskinongé
“The government strategy presented today depends on the forces of change and development found in RCMs and local municipalities, as well as in the government. By working together, we will ensure the occupancy and vitality of all of Quebec.”
– Richard Lehoux, President of the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités
“The government always comes out a winner when it establishes its local and regional development priorities in accordance with the expertise and knowledge of local representatives. It is imperative that we root government action within the regions.”
– Michel Angers, member of the Board of Directors of the Union des Municipalités du Québec and Mayor of Shawinigan
- In 2017, Minister Coiteux, accompanied by the ministers responsible for the regions, conducted a consultation tour to visit local and regional elected officials and gather the regions’ priorities and the projects to implement to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories.
- Elected officials in the regions established steering committees that organized discussion and reflection exercises in their communities. The priorities that they established are the core of the new strategy. An entire section of the strategy is even dedicated to the priorities of each region, with one chapter per region. The priorities that have been formulated can, if needed, be revised starting in 2019.
- To ensure the success of this strategy, the government, through its ministries and agencies, will have to adapt its actions and programs to meet regional priorities. The intervention of ministries will be part of action plans that will have to be made public by March 2018. These plans will then be brought together in a common action plan in summer 2018.
- To support the strategy, the Government of Quebec has passed three ambitious bills:
- An Act to grant Ville de Québec national capital status and increase its autonomy and powers;
- An Act mainly to recognize that municipalities are local governments and to increase their autonomy and powers;
- An Act to increase the autonomy and powers of Ville de Montréal, the metropolis of Québec.
- The Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire will support regions’ priorities by funding long-term projects across the province with different funds:
- Fonds de développement des territoires;
- Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions;
- Fonds de développement économique de Montréal;
- Fonds de la région de la Capitale-Nationale