Port Daniel cement works to get government funding
Plant will produce jobs for Gaspé but cement industry says it will lead to job losses elsewhere
Quebec’s Liberal government is expected to announce funding for the Port Daniel cement plant in the Gaspé today.
Jacques Daoust, Quebec’s Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, is scheduled to make an announcement from the Ciment McInnis headquarters at 9:30 a.m.
The funding pledge will relieve fears that the Liberal government wouldn’t follow through on a previous Parti Québécois government’s promise to support the $1-billion project conceived by members of the Beaudoin family, founders of the Quebec aerospace and transportation giant Bombardier.
In January, former premier Pauline Marois promised a guaranteed loan worth about $250 million for the project, along with $100 million from Investissements Québec and $100 million from the Caisse de dépôt, Quebec's pension manager.
Construction of the cement plant is expected to create 2,300 jobs in the region, which suffers from high unemployment. Once built, it will provide around 200 direct jobs and another 200 indirect jobs in the region.
The project, however, has been criticized by the province’s cement industry, which says it will cost jobs at existing plants in Quebec. The Canadian Cement Association is on the record saying the project will add unneeded supply in a province that already makes too much cement.