MONTREAL, July 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec (FCCQ), together with a dozen prominent representatives of Quebec's business community, civil society and municipal sector, participated in a three-day study tour of Alberta's hydrocarbon industry. During the tour, participants visited industries involved in oil and gas exploration and development and met with Alberta's regulatory body, entrepreneurs, farmers and public decision makers who all expressed their desire to ensure the sustainability of their businesses while contributing to the province's economic development and safeguarding the public's safety.
"Quebec should draw its inspiration from the Alberta government, which has chosen to work with its industries. In-depth expertise, cutting-edge technologies, extensive scientific research and cooperation with local communities have made this industry into a model of success that the population of Quebec should learn more about," stated Françoise Bertrand, President and Executive Director of the FCCQ.
The Federation noted in particular one of the lessons that Quebec should draw from the Alberta model: how the two main pillars of Alberta's economy—the oil and gas industry and agriculture--coexist in a harmonious, balanced manner that allows both sectors to develop without it being at the expense of one or the other.
"We observed that often the problems discussed in the public arena and used to show the risks related to the development of these sectors exist in jurisdictions where there is a lax regulatory framework. This is not the case in Canada, and particularly not the case in Alberta, where this modern industry relies heavily on research and technology and moves forward hand in hand with local communities," added Ms. Bertrand. Thus, when conducting its strategic environmental evaluation of the petroleum sector, the government of Quebec should study best practices that have been implemented in jurisdictions such as Alberta, in order to create an appropriate legislative framework.
With respect to the economic impact of this industry, the FCCQ noted that, according to a study that it published last November in collaboration with KPMG-SECOR, in 2012, western Canada's petroleum sector generated economic spin-offs across Canada valued at $44.1 billion and was responsible for creating 420,000 jobs. Quebec also reaped approximately one billion dollars in economic spin-offs; furthermore, over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs depended on western Canada's petroleum industry in 2012, not to mention its impact on the calculation of equalization payments.
Finally, the FCCQ stressed once again that more than ever, it is time for the government to be proactive and allow some targeted demonstration projects to be carried out in order to determine the real potential for developing Quebec's shale gas sector. "Pilot projects would enable us to demonstrate that it works and to develop an appropriate model for Quebec while respecting the three principles of sustainable development," Ms. Bertrand concluded by saying.
About the FCCQ
With its wide network of more than 140 chambers of commerce and 1,200 corporate members, the Federation des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) represents over 60,000 businesses and 150,000 business people involved in all sectors of the economy throughout Quebec. As the largest network of business people and businesses in Quebec, the FCCQ is both a federation of chambers of commerce and a provincial chamber of commerce. Its members—be they chambers of commerce or businesses—all share a common goal: to foster an innovative, competitive business environment.
SOURCE: Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
For further information: Camilla Sironi, Communications Advisor, Federation des chambres de commerce du Québec, Tel: 514 844-9571 ext. 3227, Cell: 514 647-4745, [email protected]