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Quebec Premier Jean Charest will unveil nearly $10-billion in investments in Quebec’s vast northern territory, according to media reports.


He is expected to provide details of mining, hydroelectric, eco-tourism and infrastructure projects at a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon in Lévis, Que.


The “Plan Nord” is the cornerstone of the Liberal economic platform, and it’s the 21st-century version of the James Bay project that dominated economic policy in the 1970s and 1980s.


The most concrete outline is expected to be 11 mining projects, including plans for gold, nickel, diamond and uranium mines.


“We are in the midst of a mining boom that will transform Quebec’s economy,” André Lavoie, spokesman for the Quebec Mining Association, told the TVA television network.


The new mines are expected to create an estimated 10,000 new jobs. Most of the investments will come from the private sector, but Quebec will provide significant funds through investment arms such as Investissement Québec.


The province’s mineral-rich north is twice the size of France but there is very little access so the government will invest billions in infrastructure projects, including new roads, ports and parks.


In its most recent budget, Quebec set aside $1.6-billion for northern infrastructure, including building a road from Chibougamau to the Otish Mountains, where there are significant diamond reserves, and creating a deep-water port in the Inuit community of Kuujjuarapik.


Mr. Charest is also expected to announce plans to expand the province’s hydroelectric network into new parts of the North and to laud the potential for eco-tourism.


To counter public perceptions that the new investments will pilfer the unspoiled North, the Premier will also announce that 50 per cent of the territory will be protected from any development and that significant ecological reserves will be created.


Senior Inuit leaders will also be present to give their blessing to the grand plans in their traditional territories.


(Courtesy of The Globe and Mail)



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Premier Jean Charest will unveil on Monday the provincial government's Plan Nord, calling for infrastructure investments in roads, ports and housing to open a vast area of northern Quebec for the development of its natural resources.


The private sector will invest most of the money in mining ventures, forestry and energy projects, while the province will set aside about half the territory as a nature reserve.


Aboriginal people living in the region have expressed skepticism about the plan, which has been short on specifics.


The Plan Nord will cover a territory twice the size of France. The area is rich in gold, copper, iron, nickel and diamond deposits, but has remained largely undeveloped due to its size, lack of infrastructure and inhospitable climate.


(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)


Plus we got other mining regions, so Quebec future looking good. Now to invest in companies, that invest in Quebec or operate in Quebec.


Le premier ministre Jean Charest présente cet après-midi son fameux Plan Nord qui était en gestation depuis 18 mois. Quelques faits…


Qu’est-ce que le Plan Nord?

Il s’agit de développer le potentiel minier, énergétique (hydroélectrique, éolien, gazier, pétrolier) et touristique du Québec, au Nord du 49e parallèle, excluant l’Île d’Anticosti. Cela représente 72 % de la superficie du Québec (deux fois la France). Le Plan Nord concerne notamment les villes de Baie-Comeau, de Sept-Îles et de Chibougamau, le Nunavick et plusieurs territoires autochtones appartenant aux Cris, aux Naskapis et aux Innus.


Les grandes lignes :

- Construire des barrages (+7 000 MW sur 5 ans) et des éoliennes

- Accélération de l’extraction minière (200 M$ sur 10 ans) et gazière

- Formation de la main d’œuvre (100 M$ sur 3 ans)

- Transport : construction de routes et rénovation de la moitié des 26 aéroports

- Passer de 9,4 % d’aires protégées à 12 % d’ici 2015 avec 4 nouveaux parcs (32 M$)

- Améliorer les structures des 200 pourvoiries (2,2 M$)


Déjà des opposants

Dans son document de travail, le gouvernement insistait sur la consultation et le partenariat avec les Premières Nations. «Le processus de consultation a été incomplet et décevant», a déploré lundi le chef des Premières nations, Ghislain Picard. Le Plan Nord ne respecterait pas les droits territoriaux de certaines Nations qui n’ont jusqu’ici signé aucune entente avec Québec. Seuls les Cris en ont une.


L’attitude du gouvernement face aux sociétés minières est aussi en cause. «Est-on d’accord, par exemple, pour que les intérêts de l’extraction minière aillent vers d’autres pays alors que nos communautés continuent de vivre dans la pauvreté», s’est questionné M. Picard sur les ondes de RDI. Le Québec est reconnu comme la province où les droits miniers sont les moins élevés. Le gouvernement va les faire augmenter graduellement de 12 % à 16 % d’ici 2012.


Des droits encore insuffisants, selon la Coalition pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine. La coalition signale que le gouvernement continuera de payer plus en subventions qu’il ne recevra en redevances. Elle déplore aussi que ces dernières soient calculées sur les profits et non pas sur la valeur brute produite comme en Australie.


(Courtesy of Journal Metro)


Journal Metro has a picture, but it is so small :(

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L'important c'est d'ouvrir le territoire par des routes, aéroports ou autres... le reste les compagnies vont s'en charger.


Il y a d'énormes richesses qu'il faut exploiter et le désenclevement du nord du Québec renforcera notre contrôle sur ce territoire, et ce pour assoir notre souvernaité et éviter un redissenement de la carte en cas de OUI.

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Premier Jean Charest announced Monday that his long-awaited Plan Nord, to open northern Quebec to economic and social development, will mean private and public investments totalling $80 billion over 25 years.


“The Plan Nord will be for the coming decades what the Manicouagan and James Bay developments were in the 1960s and '70s,” Charest said.


Investments in energy development, mining, forestry, transportation and tourism in the 1.2 million square kilometre region – twice the size of France – arev expected to create 20,000 jobs a year, on average, in the region, generating economic growth of $162 billion, tax revenues of $14 billion and mining royalties of $1.4 billion in five years, he said.


Only 120,000 people live in that vast territory, including 10,000 Inuit, 16,000 Crees, 9,300 of Quebec’s 16,000 Innu and 1,000 Naskapi in 31 communities, as well non-aboriginals in 32 communities.


Quebec is breaking the 25-year plan into five-year chunks, with $2.1 billion in public money budgeted for the first phase, 2011 to 2016, including $500 million to be injected by Investissement Québec in private resource companies.


The bulk of that amount – $1.2 billion – is to be spent on roads, airports and other infrastructure projects.


Of the initial amount, $382 million would be for housing, health, education, culture and reducing the high cost of living in the North. Of that total, $264.4 million is to go into housing in Nunavik, where Quebec’s human rights commission has linked the lack of adequate housing in Inuit communities with violence, sexual and other abuse of children.


The proposal calls for 840 new houses in Inuit communities, 340 under a federal-provincial plan, plus 500 under the Plan Nord, and the renovation of 482 homes.


As well, mining companies will be required to build new houses when they develop new mining projects.


Already, 11 mining projects, creating 11,000 jobs in the construction phase, 4,000 jobs for the long term, are planned, for a total investment of $8.24 billion.


The region contains deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum, zinc, iron ore, lignite, gold, lithium, vanadium and rare earths.


Forestry development plans and reforestation near populated areas in the North count for 53 per cent of Quebec’s forestry potential and are projected to create about 15,000 jobs – 5,600 in the forests and 9,300 in the paper, pulp and lumber mills used to process the wood.


Quebec’s North also has 1.5 million hectares of arable land, almost as much as the 2 million hectares in the south already cultivated. Plans call for growing blueberries and other fruits initially, with a greater agricultural potential in the future as a consequence of climate change.


In the energy sector, the Plan Nord calls for developing 3,500 megawatts more in hydroelectric projects, 300 megawatts of wind energy and 200 megawatts of solar and other renewable energy, at a cost of $25 billion.


To ensure access to Quebec’s North, northern airports are being improved and four new roads will be built. Some entrepreneurs have suggested building rail links into the northern regions.


Charest also spoke in his Inaugural Address in March about building northern ports as part of the plan.


The province is to set aside 50 per cent of the North as protected areas, where no economic development will be allowed, but the Plan Nord also calls for developing tourism in the region of pristine lakes, unscaled mountains, vast forests and migrating caribou herds.


To manage the Plan Nord, a new Société du Plan Nord, a public corporation, would be created to co-ordinate investments, structure financing and work in partnership with local communities.


There will also be a Fonds du Plan Nord, as announced in the 2011-12 Quebec budget, to manage government spending.


Revenues from resource development will be entrusted to the Fonds for future developments.


(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)


The Canadian province of Quebec plans to develop its huge frozen northern reaches into a powerhouse of mining and renewable energy, targeting $80-billion of private and public investment.


Quebec’s 25-year “Plan Nord,” launched on Monday, envisages funding for infrastructure, mines and the development of renewable energy, taking advantage of an improving investment climate as the earth warms and polar ice melts.


Quebec says the region has abundant deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum group metals, zinc, iron ore, ilmenite, gold, lithium, vanadium and rare-earth metals.


“Northern Quebec has incomparable mining potential,” Natural Resources Minister Serge Simard said in a release.


“The opening up of vast, previously unexplored territories is paving the way for unprecedented economic growth.”


Plan Nord covers an area of 465,000 square miles (1.2-million square km), roughly the size of the whole of South Africa. The sparsely populated region has 11 mining projects in development now and over $8-billion in mining investment.


“(Plan Nord) will create or consolidate 20,000 jobs a year, on average, and generate $14-billion in revenue for the government and Quebec society,” said Premier Jean Charest.


Quebec aims to attract $47-billion in private and public investment for renewable energy and $33-billion for mining and infrastructure. It will amend its mining regulations to ensure the government gets “fair economic return” from its resources in the largely untouched region.


The government conceded that “the vastness of the northern territory poses a daunting challenge from the standpoint of access and transportation and communications infrastructure.”


The region is also already to more than 75% of Quebec’s hydroelectric power. Plan Nord envisages an additional 3,500 MW of additional “green” power, primarily through hydroelectric dams, with a small amount being generated through wind turbines and underwater generators.


Quebec also predicted environmental and social benefits, with 50% of the territory set aside for nonindustrial purposes, including new provincial parks and environmentally protected areas.


The government will spend $382-million over five years on housing, health and education for local communities.


(Courtesy of Reuters via. The Financial Post)


Plan Nord - Economical Potential (english link)

Mineral Potential (pdf)

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Ironiquement c'est Charest qui est en train de mettre en place les conditions gagnantes d'ici 50 ans. J'espere bien voir QC devenir un 'have province'.

Sérieusement, avec le changement climatique à venir (2050-2100) tu peux facilement batir deux meme trois gros ports à l'extreme nord du QC. WOW SUPER NOUVELLE!!!

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Ça pourrait bien être ce qui sauverait l'héritage de Jean Charest. Je crois qu'il aimerait bien qu'on se souvienne de lui pour autre chose que pour la corruption et pour son impopularité.

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J'ai vu Charest en entrevue hier soir à une émission qui s'appelle Profile sur PBS(Vermont). Il a mentionné que le plan du Nrod serait un investissement de 80 milliards$ en 25 ans. C'est énorme!

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Hydroelectric projects (underway and planned)


- Eastmain 1A-Sarcelle Rupert (James Bay): $5-billion, 920 megawatts, planned completion 2012.


- La Romaine (North Shore): $6.5-billion, 1550 MW, planned completion 2014-2020.


- Petit-Mécatina (North Shore): 1200 MW.


- Saint-Marguerite-3 power plant (North Shore): 440-MW expansion, planned completion 2013.


- Jean Lesage power plant (North Shore): 120-MW expansion, completion 2013.


- René Lévesque power plant (North Shore): 210-MW expansion, completion 2013.


- Various small-scale projects to power mining projects in the North.


Mining (11 planned projects worth $8.24-billion)


- Xstrata, phase 2 of Raglan nickel mine in Nunavik (nickel copper), $1-billion.


- MDN Inc., Crevier project, Saguenay-Lac-St. Jean (niobium and tantalum).


- New Millenium Capital Corp., DSO project, North Shore (iron), $4-billion.


- ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, Mont Wright and Port Cartier Projects, North Shore (iron).


- Ressources Strateco Inc., Matoush project, James Bay (uranium).


- Stornoway Diamond Corp. Renard project, James Bay (diamonds), $450-million.


- Jien Canada Mining, Nunavik project (nickel and copper).


- Mine Arnaud project, North Shore (apatite).


- Xstrata, Bracemac-McLeod project, James Bay (zinc and copper), $160-million.


- Metanor Resources, Bachelor project, James Bay (gold).


- Goldcorp/Mines Opinaca, Éléonore project, James Bay (gold), $1.4-billion.


Proposed mining projects


- Tata Steel, Schefferville iron mines, $300-million.


- ArcelorMittal, Wright Mine, Fermont (iron ore), looking at 50-per-cent expansion.


- Yara International, mine project, Sept-Iles, (apatite), feasibility study.


- Adriana Resources, Otelnuk project, Nunavik (iron ore), $10-billion.




- Rebuild Route 389 from Baie-Comeau to Fermont.


- Extend Route 167 to the Otish Mountains, $279-million.


- Extend Route 138 to Blanc-Sablon and between Natashquan and Kegaska, $251-million.


- Conduct feasibility of a road or rail link from Kuujjuaq southward, $57-million.


- Conduct feasibility of a deepwater port in Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik, plus road link to Radisson ($33-million).


- Upgrade 26 northern airports.




- $28.8-million to put in a fibre-optic network throughout the James Bay region (completion 2011).


(Courtesy of CTV News)


There is one mine, that should be operational in a few years that is in the region of Northern Quebec, close to Labrador. It is one of the largest graphite deposits in the world. Graphite is used in electric cars and will soon be the future of electronic processors.


I wonder how much it would cost to fly up there and what not. I know it is like a 13-17 hour drive to one of the parks in the Gaspe region. As for the deep water port, that be great. It be easier to ship everything to China. I for one wouldn't mind traveling all the way north for the aurora borealis, but it probably wouldn't be as cost-effective as Iceland. Nunavut would be nice, seeing they have an awesome national park, but you need to charter a plan and thats expensive. Salluit, Nunavik (QC) is expensive also and it is like a 10 hour flight.

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