Economic Radar - T2 2011

Business Environment

A 69,000 sq. ft. expansion at the Convention Centre

The Québec City Convention Centre has announced a 69,000 sq. ft. expansion. To improve access and offer more meeting space and preconference activity options, the Convention Centre will both overhaul current facilities and acquire part of an existing shopping mall adjacent to the Centre.

Economic update : 2011 second quarter

Economic update : 2011 second quarter

The statistical data available for the second quarter of 2011 indicate that the Quebec City CMA is continuing its growth momentum. The employment market recorded a gain of 3,200 workers, while unemployment held steady at 5.8%. In addition, according to the updated list of local investment projects, a total of 140 initiatives are underway valued at approximately $8.1 billion. They are expected to create or maintain some 9,000 jobs in the region.

The manufacturing sector also started to send out some positive signals in the second quarter of 2011, attesting to the region's robust economic health. A number of companies have gradually started hiring and investing again. Although much work remains to be done to generate a more suitable growth rate for this sector, regional manufacturers are faring well despite lingering global economic uncertainties. Two factors - regional dynamism and the fine performance of the Canadian economy - are helping to fill local order books.

ITC and electronics

Frima Studio opens new special effects division for movie production

Video game developer Frima Studio has announced the creation of Frima FX, a new special effects and animation production studio for the TV and movie industry. To achieve the project, the company invested several million dollars, including the acquisition of the special effects division of Québec-based SVC (Studio Virtuel Concept). (Article in french only)

Life sciences

Medicago Awarded "Best Early-Stage Vaccine Biotechnology Company"

In selecting the winner for this category, the distinguished panel of judges evaluated the finalists based on the ability to move the business from early stage to a more mature company, the quality and diversity of the vaccine pipeline and candidates, the advancements in taking a new product to market or through clinical stages, the meaningful licensing or partnership deals and the ability to secure significant new funds for growth.

Rx&D Welcomes its Newest Member: EndoCeutics Inc.

Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) President Russell Williams, is pleased to welcome a new member to the association representing the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Canada. EndoCeutics Inc., which is based in Quebec City, has joined Rx&D as a biopharmaceutical member.

Environment and energy

H2O Innovation awarded major CAN$9.4 million contract for Suncor Energy’s Fort Hills oil sands mine

H2O Innovation Inc. announces today that it has been awarded a major $9.4 million contract by Fort Hills Energy L.P. for the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project operated by Suncor Energy Operations Inc. . This contract will see H2O Innovation design, build, install, and commission a water treatment package that will provide potable water for the workers of Fort Hills Project currently in development 90 kilometers north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. This contact brings H2O Innovation's sales backlog to a record high level of $29.2 million as of June 8, 2011.

Transportation and materials

Prevost Awarded Contract from MTA New York City Transit for 90 Coaches

Prevost has been awarded a contract by MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) to manufacture 90 Prevost X3-45 motor express coaches. The pilot vehicle will be delivered in July and the other 89 coaches are expected to be delivered between October 2011 and January 2012. The contract between Prevost and NYCT also includes, structural integrity testing, tailpipe emission profile testing, and training.

Tourism

A 69,000 sq. ft. expansion at the Convention Centre

The Québec City Convention Centre has announced a 69,000 sq. ft. expansion. To improve access and offer more meeting space and preconference activity options, the Convention Centre will both overhaul current facilities and acquire part of an existing shopping mall adjacent to the Centre.

Le Petit Champlain ranks in 1st place as a great neighbourhood in the Great Places in Canada Contest

From more than 6,000 nominations and after four months of voting by people across the country, the winning locations in the first annual Great Places in Canada contest have been selected. "The voting far exceeded what we were anticipating," said Marni Cappe, President of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), the sponsor of the competition.

Insurance

Desjardins will invest $125M in Lévis (french only)

Desjardins will invest $125M in Lévis (french only)

Desjardins Group Announces a $ 125 million to revitalize its campus in Lévis and to modernize its facilities. The Group will be renaming the campus to be known as "campus Desjardins Cooperation" to better reflect its cooperative nature yet. It also will construct a "place of Cooperation", which is intended as a concrete manifestation of the contribution of cooperatives to the enrichment of their environment.

Awards, Distinctions and Promotional Activities

The Port of Quebec has been awarded two prizes

The Port of Québec has won two cruise line service excellence awards (Most Efficient Port Services and Most Responsive Port) based on the results of a survey conducted among passengers and crew by Dream World Cruise Destinations magazine during the world's largest international cruise industry conference.

Former Heads of Government meeting in Quebec City: a global influence

The 20 members of the InterAction Council attending this year's three-day annual meeting in Quebec City, include former US President Bill Clinton, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and former prime ministers Yasuo Fukuda (Japan) and Gro Brundtland (Norway).  Co-chairing the meeting: former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and former Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky

At today's conclusion of the meeting, the group urged a new international water ethic and offered political office-holders today some 21 recommendations for world water management moving forward.

Quebec City, official member of the Intelligent Community Forum!

In conjunction with the 2011 Building the Broadband Economy Summit, which was held in New York from June 1-3, Quebec City became an official member of the influential Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an independent think tank dedicated to creating jobs and developing the digital economy. Along with Shanghai (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Stockholm (Sweden), Cleveland (US), Manchester (UK) and Seoul (South Korea), Quebec City joined this select group thanks to its inclusion last October in the prestigious "Smart 21 Communities of the Year" rankings celebrating the world's most innovative cities and regions.