Centre boréal du Saint-Laurent - City invests $9.7 million for project completion

    BAIE-COMEAU, QC, Oct.3 /CNW Telbec/ - Today at a special municipal
council meeting, the City of Baie-Comeau adopted a motion to invest up to
$9.7 million in Centre boréal du Saint-Laurent, a major tourist attraction.
This initiative officially signals the city's determination to see the project
through to completion. Thanks to the investment, the Centre d'expérience
glaciaire-the project centerpiece-will become a reality.
    "In recent years, the City of Baie-Comeau has established a number of
milestones to ensure a solid foundation for tourist industry development. With
today's decision, we have confirmed just how important this critical sector is
to our growth," said Baie-Comeau mayor Ivo Di Piazza.
    "Our economy is built around four sectors: industry, commerce, culture,
and tourism. Each one requires our attention. We have worked hard on most of
them. With this afternoon's announcement, we throw our support behind
Baie-Comeau's tourist sector. We also believe this attractive project will
create spinoffs for the entire Manicouagan region," continued the mayor.
    Studies by consultants at Desjardins Marketing Stratégie have clearly
shown that once the Centre boréal du Saint-Laurent is finished, it will become
a major draw-the only one of its kind in the world in fact-that will attract
new tourists to Manicouagan.
    For the mayor, "We know, and studies back us up, that Centre boréal du
Saint-Laurent can work without a cruise ship clientele at Baie-Comeau.
However, we also know that we cannot develop the cruise industry without this
tool. Cruise company managers we have met with over the past two years have
been very clear on this point."
    "As for final project funding, we hope that the governments of Quebec and
Canada-both of which seem to be dragging their feet despite our discussions of
the past several months-will pay closer attention to supporting development of
this critical economic sector for the region, a project that will make a name
for itself throughout Eastern Canada, in New England, and even in Europe.
    For us, we have clearly set our sights on a goal: we have chosen to
follow the path of development; we hope that Quebec and Ottawa will join us as
partners. It's now up to them," concludes the mayor.
    The call for tenders for the final phase of the project will be
officially launched on October 12.

For further information:

For further information: Jacques Comeau, Director, Communications
Department, (418) 296-8142

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