On December 19, the Ghislain Dufour Business Forum welcomed Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, who is also Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region.
More than a hundred guests present in person and through video call were able to hear the minister explain the magnitude of the challenge of combining energy, economic development, and innovation in a manner consistent with the equally legitimate concerns related to the environment and the future of our resources.
For Mr. Fitzgibbon, the current decade confronts us with crucial energy choices. In addition to the constraints posed by the pandemic, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation, there is a new reality: the renewable energy that Quebec prides itself on is not as abundant as we would like. We need to allocate it wisely, fight waste and bad consumption habits while promoting wind power and optimizing existing dams and power plants. Renewable energy must be devoted to projects that will benefit the Quebec economy. One of these is to further integrate Quebec into the supply chain that supports the construction of commercial electric vehicles.
Mr. Fitzgibbon is also pleased that, despite the headwinds that will be blowing in 2023, the wealth gap between Quebec and Ontario continues to narrow. The Quebec government intends to continue its significant investments in innovation, which it sees as a link between basic research and Investissement Québec, in order to promote the development of start-ups and pursue the digital transformation offensive in the manufacturing sector as part of an approach in which government intervention is balanced.
Minister Fitzgibbon did not fail to emphasize his attachment to Montreal and the greater metropolitan region, and was pleased to share the praise that his various international contacts have given him when they visit us. Montreal is a truly sought-after destination, both for those who wish to invest and work here and for those who come to visit.