2007 Grands Prix québécois de la qualité: an exceptional year with outstanding positioning for Québec!

    MONTREAL, Nov. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - At a ceremony attended by Premier Jean
Charest, 14 Québec organizations that have clearly demonstrated a commitment
to excellence were rewarded today as part of this year's Grands Prix québécois
de la qualité.
    "It is always an honour for me to award the Grands Prix québécois de la
qualité," the Premier said enthusiastically. "Their reputation extends beyond
our borders, and because of their stringent criteria they are comparable to
international awards. The honour is even greater this year because we are
handing out a record four Grands Prix - proof positive that Québec is meeting
the challenge of excellence!"

    Outstanding results in an exceptional economic context

    The economic backdrop to this year's awards is unprecedented: the
Canadian dollar is at an all-time high, there is vigorous competition from
emerging countries, and the global business environment is in the midst of
dynamic change. To keep pace with the world's best, our companies must
demonstrate innovation and enhanced operational and organizational
    Having observed the evolution of Québec companies' management practices
for the past 25 years, the Mouvement québécois de la qualité is pleased and
proud to note that increasing numbers of these firms are engaged on the road
to improvement and innovation. This is illustrated most eloquently by the
results of this 2007 edition of the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité.
    The Grands Prix québécois de la qualité are Québec's most prestigious
rewards for organizational excellence. On the basis of a points system, they
recognize outstanding efforts in management quality and overall performance by
private firms and public-sector organizations that are demonstrating an
ongoing desire to outdo themselves and rigorously apply best practices at all
organizational levels.
    Premier Charest was accompanied at the Grands Prix québécois de la
qualité ceremony by Bruno-Marie Béchard, Rector, Université de Sherbrooke and
Chair of the 2007 Grands Prix jury; Roch L. Dubé, President and CEO, Bell
Nordiq Group, and Chair of the Board, Mouvement québécois de la qualité; and
by Réjean Lévesque, Senior Vice-President, Electronic Payment Solutions and
Operations, National Bank of Canada, and Co-Chair, Board of Governors,
Mouvement québécois de la qualité. The ceremony was held in the presence of
1,000 executives and employees at Montréal's Palais des congrès convention
centre as part of Evénement qualité 2007, the largest gathering of its kind in
North America.

    Efforts by 14 organizations rewarded

    The Grands Prix québécois de la qualité feature a three-tiered
recognition system: the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité, Grandes Mentions
and Mentions.
    The awards recognize private companies and public bodies that have
implemented stringent quality-improvement systems involving all aspects of
operations, and have achieved outstanding results. The Grands Prix constitute
a world-class benchmark, with rigorous selection criteria placing them in the
same league as internationally known awards like the Deming Prize (Japan), the
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (U.S.) and the European Quality Award.

    Recipients of the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité 2007

    This year, the Premier presented four Grands Prix québécois de la qualité
to organizations that have achieved remarkable results. The recipients are
Pratt & Whitney Canada, Usinatech Inc., the Hydro-Québec Shared Services
Centre, and Desjardins AccèsD Services.

    Pratt & Whitney Canada, a leading aircraft engine manufacturer, recorded
outstanding results in an industry affected by adverse events, through its
mastery of a variety of approaches aimed at client satisfaction as well as
investments in research and development - the company is the leading R&D
investor in the Canadian aerospace industry. Pratt & Whitney Canada uses the
ACE operating system, which enhances performance among all its business units
and ensures attainment of exceptional quality and productivity standards.

    The Premier also took advantage of the timing of the Grands Prix
québécois de la qualité presentation ceremony to pay special tribute to Alain
M. Bellemare, President, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and Executive Vice-President,
Pratt & Whitney Group Strategy and Development, for his unparalleled
contribution to innovation and continuous improvement at Pratt & Whitney. The
Government of Québec and the Mouvement québécois de la qualité emphasized
Mr. Bellemare's role in raising his company's international profile and, by
extension, that of all Québec.

    Usinatech Inc., a firm specializing in precision machining and production
of a range of mechanical equipment, stood out for its highly innovative
production processes, which enable it to be exceedingly agile, and its partner
relationships with clients, which ensure their satisfaction. The company's
success is due especially to its remarkably motivated employees.

    Hydro-Québec Shared Services Centre, which is one of the largest
shared-services centres in North America, provides a range of support services
to Hydro-Québec's corporate divisions and units. It generates major savings
owing to the efforts of a responsible team that is continually developing its
skills, as well as to its excellent client communication channels.

    Desjardins AccèsD Services, which operates the Desjardins website and its
AccèsD online transaction service, achieved outstanding satisfaction rates
among users of all its services and performed considerably well in terms of
operational costs and reliability thanks to disciplined management and
proactive leadership.

    Grande Mention recipients

    The Grandes Mentions (honourable mentions) are awarded to organizations
that score 500 points or more according to the Grands Prix québécois de la
qualité evaluation criteria, which recognize an organization's implementation
of efficient management approaches and significant results achieved without
any major shortcoming being noted by the jury. The five companies receiving a
Grande Mention this year are CAE Operations, Rideau Inc., H. Fontaine Ltd.,
A. Lassonde Inc. and GE Aviation Bromont.

    Mention recipients

    The Mentions reward significant improvement efforts made by an
organization and reflect a score of between 400 and 499 points. The recipients
for 2007 are Bombardier Transportation North America, Centre de gestion de
l'équipement roulant, Quartier international de Montréal, SCA North
America-Canada Inc. and Société des Technologies de l'Aluminium du Saguenay
Inc. (STAS Inc.).
    "Each of this year's recipients is fully deserving of the honour bestowed
upon it," said Mr. Béchard, Chair of the 2007 Grands Prix jury. "The jury
acknowledges the winners' hard work and urges them to continue along the road
to excellence."
    For his part, Mr. Dubé, Chair of the Board, Mouvement québécois de la
qualité, said: "I am very proud of the role played by the Mouvement in
enhancing the reputation of companies that are committed to continuous
improvement of their business practices. In this regard, the enthusiastic
response to the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité and the continuing success
of our trade fair on best business practices are proof that Québec
entrepreneurs are ready to meet the challenge of competitiveness and

    The Mouvement québécois de la qualité, which this year is celebrating its
25th anniversary, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute
to the enhancement of its member organizations' performance by facilitating
the evaluation and integration of best management practices. Constantly
attuned to innovations on the international front, the Mouvement is the only
organization in a position to offer Québec organizations the best management
models as well as a broad range of products and services aimed at continuous

    Note: Background texts and photographs of the 2007 Grands Prix québécois
    de la qualité recipients are available at the following Web page:

For further information:

For further information: Marie France, Director, Promotion and
Communications, Mouvement québécois de la qualité, (514) 874-9933, ext. 224,
marie.franc@qualite.qc.ca; Sylvie Laflamme, Octane, (514) 771-4841, (514)
789-3415 (November 15, 2007 - Press room), slaflamme@octane-strategie.com;
Source: Hugo D'Amours, Press Secretary, Office of the Premier, (418) 643-5321

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