Quebec has more money than ever on the table for projects, but should not miss this opportunity, pleads Steeve Lavoie, big boss of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Quebec, for whom the revival passes by. the collaboration.
“We want a room that proposes and not opposes. We want to work hand in hand with the various levels of government and other associations, such as Québec International. We wanted a shift, a collaborative effort, ”argues Mr. Lavoie in a first editorial interview, granted in anticipation of the Economic and Political Perspectives event, which takes place this afternoon.
Coming from the world of finance, where he worked for 20 years in the service of companies, Steeve Lavoie took office in the heart of the pandemic, at the end of June 2020. He hopes to have the chance to stay there for a long time.
Since his arrival, the CEO has been working to reestablish bridges with various organizations. He intends to unite and give back a voice to the Chamber of Commerce for business people, “which had been somewhat lost in recent years”.
Mr. Lavoie also says that his surprise was to see how the work was done in silos, which is not desirable.
Steeve Lavoie sees the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal as a very good example of the positive impact that emerges from such collaboration between community partners. “They, when they go out, they all go out together, they have a significant weight and that makes things happen”, he launches.
In the same way, the projects of Quebec should not oppose, but add up, estimates the CEO. “We hold on tight and move projects forward. “
He thus thinks of the structuring transport network of Quebec, of the Laurentia project, of the Littoral Est Innovation Zone or of the various airport projects. As for the third Quebec-Lévis link, it is waiting to learn more, but says it is open.
Any project must be done with respect for the population and the environment, he says. “Social acceptability can no longer be put aside in 2021, but we must not miss it and do it together. “
Think about the recovery
It will take three years, according to Mr. Lavoie, between the recovery and the return to a normal lifestyle. Expect a high number of bankruptcies by then, especially as a good number have been postponed thanks to actions taken by banks and governments.
In the context, Quebec will have to take the opportunity to create and diversify. While the professional and industrial sectors have fared more than well in general, the restaurant, hotel and tourism sectors will have to rebound. The problem of labor shortages will be even more important there.
In fact, in Quebec, have we bet too much on tourism, which has been severely tested by the current crisis? “No, if you have strength, work with it,” he replies, adding that you can never bet too much on strength.
Quebec will however have to accelerate its entry into the 21st century, he believes, in particular by attracting even more private investment.