June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Belgian companies: “If you’re not green, we won’t go”

Belgian companies: "If you're not green, we won't go"

Brussels, Belgium | Belgians are keen to do business in Quebec, but on the condition that the city be green and not just car-centric, the mayor sees this as confirmation of the relevance of his sustainable development policy.

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“They told us: ‘If you’re not green, we won’t go to your place,'” Bruno Marchand said the day after a dinner with eight Belgian companies with plans to set up or expand in Quebec. Aeronautics, Literature, Communications, Life Sciences.

“I was told: ‘If we just travel by car, we’re more likely to go to your place because that will have a significant impact on our carbon neutrality assessment.’ »

Hence they look for green and wooded terrain and active and collective mobility, he reports.

Mr. Marchand is surprised by such a categorical approach, especially since established entrepreneurs who are not part of the “new generation” are perceived to be more assertive on these issues.

Stakeholders demand accountability

This, from now on, the stakeholders of these companies are demanding environmental accountability and a positive carbon footprint, Mr. Marchand understood.

If they fail to present the green side of the project in the expansion plan, it is not even studied by their actuarial staff. And recruiting is more difficult, he noted.

“I have been saying this for two years.. everyone got suspicious. […] Building a green city is not only an environmental obsession, but also an economic one. »

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At the same time, the mayor intends to improve the budgets associated with the reception of migrant workers.

He discussed with the General Delegate of Quebec in Brussels, Genevieve Brisson, and the Actiris organizers of the unemployed in Brussels and ensures the recruitment of talent in Quebec. Belgian workers, with whom Quebec has “proximity”, only through culture and language.

Integration support

For Jessica Mathie of Aktiris, “What’s missing is support for integration and housing. Also, there is no plan for labor needs in Quebec.

Bruno Marchand believes we can do better. And he agrees to tip his hand with government help. And it requires investment and monitoring of newcomers over a long period of time.

“The city is cooperative [financièrement], but City won’t do it alone. »

Already, talks are underway with Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette.

What Quebec’s mayor says about attracting workers and businesses

“We must increase these links. We underestimated Belgium over time. »

“The new trends mean that if we don’t help companies do that, we’re dead as a city. They go somewhere else. That’s why it should be pressed. »

“As a city, what we need to do is better integrate, welcome. »

“Companies also calculate how people travel to work in their neutral carbon footprint. »

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