The neighbourhood had a history of organized labour: first community health and legal clinics community education centres campaigns to promote needs and interests of the poor and working-class
CED objectives: creating jobs revitalizing the area
1984: The Pointe St. Charles Economic Program (PEP) was founded.
What made their initiative unique? The concept of building a consensus on the direction for local economic development. The idea of partnership across interests.
Financial resources from provincial and federal governments. To be used for: Operating PEP Venture capital to be made available to small and medium enterprises at very low interest rates
An inter-CDEC committee was created to increase negotiating power between CDECs and the three levels of government.
The main objectives of the CDECs: Start new businesses by managing capital funds Facilitate the training and placement of the unemployed Initiate processes to bring agents together to support CED Change the negative attitude created by many years of economic hardship
CDECs are very much intermediary organizations.
In 1990, the City of Montreal started to develop a universal policy to formally recognize and support the role of CDECs as a vital intermediary for local economic development.
Within a short period, seven CDECs were in existence, each covering approximately three local districts.
A committee was formed to coordinate the implementation, funding, and evaluation of the CDECs by the three levels of government.
Challenges The committee attempted to standardize the CDECs’ agendas making it difficult for the CDECs to implement specific development project in their own communities.
Outcome The committee has softened and now permits the CDECs to design their own action plan reflecting local priorities.
The CDECs became part of a city-wide organization with direct accountability to the provincial government.
The significance of this action: The provincial government became the primary provider of financing and policy development for the organizations. Local level: each CDEC retained an independent board with the addition of a City councilors.
2003: Bill 34 was introduced - determines the method by which local representatives become members of CDEC Board of Directors.
CDECs have become extensions of the government with less accountability to the local district.
How do CDECs run CED initiatives CDECs administer a variety of government programs and investment funds. The criteria for program participation is set by the provincial government.
What types of programs are initiated? Many have an entrepreneurial nature.
Some programs administered in 2004: a local investment fund
a fund for the development of social economy enterprises
a program to assist microenterprise or self-employment
a program to stimulate entrepreneurship in the manufacturing and industrial sector
These programs tend to target low income persons and those on the margins of the labour market.
Program results: Despite the social orientation of Montreal’s CDECs, the greatest support is designated to private business development.
Fiscal Year 2002- 2003 Over $700,000 was invested in 21 projects that generated over $4,700,000 of revenue and has maintained or created approximately 175 jobs in the South-West section of Montreal.
Also, 22 projects have been accepted and 16 business plans have been approved. The young entrepreneurs program funded 11 projects and the creation of 455 jobs. The local investment program funded 4 new projects with $185,000 and created 35 jobs.
For the most part, the three levels of government consider CED to be about entrepreneurship and employability.
Problems of poverty and social inequality are addressed using market-driven initiatives to advance social integration and social inclusion by improving employability, local entrepreneurship and job creation.
Business Development Projects Business development is typically small business and is often related to the social economy. Businesses must be viable.
Some specific projects: A community-based member-owned cooperative offering environmental products, services and education. Mandate: “successfully engages in economic activities using reasonable profits to sustain their activities, to provide an alternative to consumerism and protect and respect their natural environment”.
A theatre was taken over by a non-profit organization and retained 8 jobs and created 10 additional jobs while contributing to the revitalization of the area.
High tech development, on a larger scale. A manufacturer of circular knit fabrics. The firm produces many fabrics and had been in operation for over 30 year. The plant had closed in 2002 and then re- opened as a CED project.
The Democratic history of CEDs in Quebec The active participation of citizens in the democratic process in deep rooted in Quebec. The creation of CDECs provided a mechanism for residents and local organizations to have a voice in local economic and social development.
Over time, the involvement of the government sectors has reduced citizen participation in the decision-making processes for CED. The CDECs have become para- governmental organizations.