Canada's new government sets up a support initiative in the Côte-de-Gaspé RCM



    QUEBEC, Sept. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn,
Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development, held his
promise today in announcing the establishment of a special temporary support
initiative to help businesses and non-profit organizations (NPOs) affected by
the recent flash floods in the Côte-de-Gaspé Regional County
Municipality (RCM).
    "When I visited Rivière-au-Renard on August 13th, the extent of the
damage was obvious. It was clear to me that, as a major player in Quebec's
regional development, we had to do our part to help. Canada's new government
decided to take action, not just once but twice, to help prevent this
situation from triggering a short-term drop in economic activity and job
losses in a region already struggling with high unemployment,"
Minister Blackburn stated.
    "The financial assistance will be awarded in the form of a non-repayable
contribution of up to $25,000 per case," the Minister added. "Because the
Agency I head doesn't have a specific program for disaster assistance it was
necessary for us take the time to manoeuvre things around in order to do more
with the tools at our disposal. Protecting the economic base of the
Côte-de-Gaspé RCM is of paramount importance to our new government."
    The eligibility criteria for this Canada Economic Development initiative
are:

    
    - It is open to enterprises and NPOs operating in the commercial sale of
      goods or services (with the exception of property leasing), as well as
      to NPOs engaged in community mobilization.
    - Application must have been listed with the Registre des enterprises du
      Quebec on August 9, 2007.
    - Applicants must occupy and operate a place of business in the
      Côte-de-Gaspé RCM, within the disaster area as at August 9, 2007.
    - Applicants must show that all recourse to other government and
      non-government assistance, including insurance coverage, has been
      exhausted.
    - This assistance must comply with the principle of "last payer", meaning
      it must be complementary and subsequent to any other form of assistance
      or any other kind of indemnity offered.

    A backgrounder outlining these eligibility criteria is attached. This
temporary support initiative is presently in effect. Further information on
this initiative can be obtained by contacting Canada Economic Development's
Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine business office at 418-368-5870 or
1-866-368-0044.


                    SUPPORT INITIATIVE IN RESPONSE TO THE
                      FLOODING IN THE COTE-DE-GASPE RCM

                                 BACKGROUNDER

    The flash flooding that struck the Côte-de-Gaspé Regional County
Municipality (RCM) during the night of August 8 to 9, 2007, caused its
greatest devastation in the Rivière-au-Renard and Corte Real sectors. Many
businesses and organizations in these areas suffered property losses and were
forced to suspend their operations.
    The governments announced the introduction of emergency financial
assistance in response to this situation. This assistance is to include
compensation under Quebec's Programme général d'aide financière lors de
sinistres.
    This assistance will likely be insufficient to cover the damages suffered
by enterprises. Such a situation could ultimately result in a drop in economic
activity, a weakening of the economic fabric and job losses, thereby limiting
the growth prospects of a region struggling with an unemployment rate that, at
nearly 17%, is already at twice the national average.
    Given the weak growth and economic devitalization already being
experienced by this region, Canada Economic Development is introducing,
through its Community Diversification program, a support initiative for
businesses and non-profit organizations (NPOs) that have been victims of this
disaster, as a means of complementing the assistance being allocated by other
sources.

    Aim and outcomes

    Aim: To help re-launch the activities of businesses and NPOs that have
been victims of these floods and support the economy of a region suffering
slow growth.

    Outcomes:

    - That the enterprises and NPOs affected resume their activities and jobs
      are maintained, thereby helping to preserve the economic base of the
      Gaspé region.
    - That development stakeholders are mobilized around the development
      issues particular to their communities.
    - That communities are able to benefit from conditions conducive to their
      development and growth.

    Applications will be analyzed on the basis of how they may further the
attainment of these outcomes.

    Eligibility criteria

    - This initiative is open to enterprises and NPOs operating in the
      commercial sale of goods or services (with the exception of property
      leasing), as well as NPOs engaged in community mobilization.
    - Listed with the Registre des entreprises du Québec as at August 9,
      2007.
    - Occupy and operate a place of business in the Côte-de-Gaspé RCM, within
      the disaster area as at August 9, 2007.
    - Demonstrate that all recourse to other government and non-government
      assistance, including insurance coverage, has been exhausted.
    - The assistance from Canada Economic Development must comply with the
      principle of "last payer", meaning the assistance must be complementary
      and subsequent to any other form of assistance available or any other
      kind of indemnity.

    Eligible expenses

    Eligible expenses include:

    - the repair or reconstruction of a building;
    - repairs to land;
    - the acquisition to repair of moveable assets, including equipment;
    - the replacement of inventory;
    - relocation costs.

    Eligible expenses must have been incurred on or after August 9, 2007.

    Non-eligible expenses

    Non-eligible expenses include any of the costs associated with the
following:

    - all damages caused by a third party, including vandalism;
    - emotional damages;
    - bodily injury;
    - damages to insurable property;
    - loss of business and revenues;
    - the purchase of land or buildings.

    Application requirements

    Submit a written application bearing the applicant's signature, that is to
include:

    - The applicant's contact information
    - A list of the damages being claimed for assistance
    - A copy of any and all other applications for assistance submitted and
      the financial support received or to be received
    - A copy of any relevant insurance policies
    - A copy of the previous fiscal year's tax return

    Form of assistance

    Given the exceptional nature of this initiative, assistance shall be in
the form of a non-repayable contribution not exceeding $25,000.

    Duration of the Initiative

    All applications must be received by September 30, 2008. This initiative
will terminate September 30, 2009.
    




For further information:

For further information: Jean Décary, Communications, Canada Economic
Development, (514) 283-8818, jean.decary@dec-ced.gc.ca; Roxane Marchand, Press
Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Canada Economic
Development, (819) 953-5646, Cell.: (613) 816-5094,
roxane.marchand@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Canada Economic Development is online at 
www.dec-ced.gc.ca. Subscribe to the press releases at 
www.dec-ced.gc.ca/asp/SalleNouvelles/acces_personnalise.asp?LANG=EN to keep up
with the latest news.


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