Business Secretary Pierre Fitzgibbon had a busy June. He made about 15 corporate relief announcements that cost taxpayers more than $365 million.
• Also read: Flying Whales: a project completely inflated thanks to nearly $74 million in public funds
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Mr Fitzgibbon appears to have taken good note of Prime Minister François Legault’s June 10 warning.
Photo from Twitter
The Terrebonne-based ADF Group, specializing in industrial construction, received a $20 million loan for robotization.
The latter then implored his ministers to break the “bad habit” of raining down announcements as the elections approached.
“I have asked all my ministers, except, that there will be no more government announcements from 1 Mayah July,” said the Prime Minister.
Especially in the 2e half of June
In the second half of June, Pierre Fitzgibbon rushed to empty his drawers, going as far as holding two press conferences a day.
The value of each ad ranged from $2 million to $80.5 million.
In a telephone interview with The newspaperlast week the minister denied this in order to prepare the ground for the election campaign.
“These are projects we’ve been working on for a while,” he said.
More announcements to come
Minister Fitzgibbon also said he was likely to continue writing checks for the next few weeks.
“There will be announcements that will be made,” he said. There will be no press conference, but I still have some projects to analyze. The government must not stop working because we are going on an election campaign. We have to help the companies.”
With kind approval
Lithium miner Nemaska has received an additional $80 million from Quebec.
Most of the announcements concern loans to Québec companies or foreign companies investing in new facilities and equipment. The sums usually come from the Economic Development Fund, the main aid of the Ministry of Economy.
A new fund
But since April 2021, Pierre Fitzgibbon has a new tool: the Fund for the Growth of Quebec Enterprises (FCEQ).
With kind approval
Quebec has injected another $53 million into French company Flying Whales.
In recent months, FCEQ has invested just over $205 million in seven Quebec companies, including agricultural cooperative Olymel ($74 million), data center operator QScale ($30 million), forestry company Chantiers Chibougamau /Kraft Nordic ($26 million); and lighting company LMPG /Lumenpulse ($24 million) and technology company Coveo ($19 million).
♦ Since the pandemic began, the Commerce Department has also provided more than $1.2 billion in loans and loan guarantees under the Concerted Temporary Business Action Program (PACTE), which ended last month.
The largest scholarships awarded
- Uniboard (Forestry): $80.5 million
- Nemaska Lithium (mining sector): 80 million dollars
- Flying whales (aviation): $53M
- Partners Thrust Capital (Aviation): 30 million dollars
- Cheering Hollister Bull (Pharma): 25 million dollars
- ADF (steel structures): 20 million dollars
- Triptyq Capital fund (creative industries): 20 million dollars
- OI glass (glass packaging): $19M
- The blue basket (online trading): 12 million dollars