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Port of Sept-Îles cruise ship dock gets the green light

Sept-Îles, May 19, 2009—The Port of Sept-Îles, together with its partners including the City of Sept-Îles and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam Band Council, is pleased to announce today that it has entered into a financial partnership with the federal and provincial governments for the completion of its cruise ship dock. This announcement was part of a ceremony welcoming the first international cruise ship, during which the Honorable Denis Lebel, Federal Minister of State (Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec), and Nicole Ménard, Provincial Minister of Tourism, confirmed the respective contributions of their ministries, which will each be equivalent to nearly two-third of project costs.

These financial contributions will be added to those of the local partners, which represent the remaining third, bringing the investments required to complete port infrastructure to slightly over $20 million. The new dock, to be located at the end of the Mgr. Blanche Terminal, will accommodate ships up to 315 meters long with passenger capacities in excess of 2,500 persons. With an 18 month construction schedule, this immense project will be one of the Port’s most substantial infrastructure investments since the La Relance Terminal in 1986.

The overall project to bring international cruise ships to Sept-Îles, which represents nearly $30 million in total investment, has three components: port infrastructures, improvement of tourist facilities within the city, and tourist facilities in the Inuit community. Project financing will be shared by the federal and provincial governments as well as by the Port, City of Sept-Îles, and the Band Council.

“From the very start, all socioeconomic stakeholders in Sept-Îles have agreed on the significant effect that this project will have on regional development as well as its key potential for our two communities, aboriginal and non-aboriginal,” said Mr. Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of the Port of Sept-Îles. “Sept-Îles Tourism, the CLD, SADC, COPIC, the Band Council, and the Sept-Îles Chamber of Commerce have all joined together to support Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu (DSIN) in this large-scale project that will let the entire world discover our beautiful area and—in addition to enhancing regional tourism—will help increase the number of tourists who visit Sept-Îles each year.”

“Today, as we celebrate the arrival of the first international cruise ship—the MS Maasdam from the Holland America Line Inc.—in Sept-Îles, our two government entities, through their financial support, are giving us the green light to create the port infrastructure needed to make Sept-Îles a leading port of call on the St. Lawrence in the years to come,” said Mmr. Carol Soucy, Chairman of the Board.

The Port of Sept-Îles is at the forefront of the region’s economy and plays a key role in its development. The Port’s annual economic impact has been estimated at $1 billion and includes the creation of some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.