Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

May 17, 2010 14:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests More Than $2.2 Million to Reinforce Sept-Iles' Status as Port of Call for International Cruise Ships

SEPT-ILES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, today announced the awarding of $2,233,129 in total funding for two projects aimed at promoting development of the international cruise industry and highlighting the Sept-Îles port of call as a one-of-a-kind meeting place with the Aboriginal community.

The City of Sept-Îles has thus been granted $1,294,379 for the construction of port infrastructure, including a hospitality pavilion and an embarkation and disembarkation area. A boardwalk will also be built to Mgr-Blanche wharf, where cruise vessels will berth as of autumn 2010. Improvements will be made to the buildings of the Vieux-Poste interpretation centre and a new concept developed to highlight the historical ties between the Innu, French and English populations. Lastly, the Vieux-Quai site will be upgraded to better meet the needs of cruise passengers.

The Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam Innu community has also been awarded a contribution of $938,750 for the acquisition of six passenger wagons that will be converted into a panoramic tourist train. These wagons will carry cruise passengers along the banks of the famous Moisie River to the ancestral Native site of Mamuitun for an authentic glimpse into traditional Aboriginal life. Tourists will have the opportunity to learn more about such things as canoe building, salmon smoking and drum making, all set against a background of traditional Native song and music. The project also calls for the enhancement of the Shaputuan Museum with the addition of a new permanent exhibit using modern multimedia technology. These initiatives will result in the maintenance of the 25 seasonal jobs required for the tourist train operation and the consolidation of three full-time jobs at the Shaputuan Museum.

"These consensus-building projects—which bring together Sept-Îles' socioeconomic stakeholders, Aboriginal communities and tourism operators—will help boost the drawing power of this port of call. The presence of a distinctive Native tourism component will also serve to position the port as a unique destination for cruise passengers and tourists from inside and outside Quebec. The arrival of cruise ships will allow the tourist season to extend into October while positively affecting the economic vitality of the City of Sept-Îles and of the Innu community. The Government of Canada is proud to contribute to these investments, which are sure to create important leverage on the local level," explained the Minister of State.

Awarded through the Support Initiative for International Cruise Development provided for under the Community Diversification program, these non-repayable contributions will help reinforce Sept-Îles as a prime port of call while bolstering its drawing power.

Canada's Economic Action Plan contains a number of measures designed to sustain our national economy, stimulate tourism growth and foster long-term economic development. To that end, the Government of Canada has committed $12 million in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 for the promotion of international cruise development along the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers.

For more on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

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