Tourism: A key sector in planning Montréal’s economic recovery

News release

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions grants over $2 million to help two organizations maintain their activities and invest in their tourism facilities.

Montréal, Quebec, January 19, 2021 Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Around the world, tourism was one of the first industries affected by the pandemic; it will also be one of the last to be able to return to full working order. A pillar of the Canadian economy that generates $102 billion a year and represents 4% of all jobs (or the equivalent of 1.8 million workers), tourism is a major vector to diversify and develop the economy.

Entrepreneurs in this sector— composed mostly of SMEs—have demonstrated resiliency, creativity and adaptability since the crisis began. To support them, the Government of Canada, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), is signalling its presence with investments totalling $2,300,000 to boost tourism in Montréal.

Investing in tourism attractions in Montréal

Once conditions are favourable, the country’s economic recovery can only happen with the support of the tourism sector. To be ready to welcome tourists, we must continue to invest in regional attractions and establishments. With this in mind, Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Hochelaga and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced $1,300,000 in Government of Canada financial support for the Just for Laughs Festival. The assistance provided by CED for 2020 and 2021 under the Quebec Economic Development Program will focus on the development of products to diversify the brand and the event’s overall attractiveness, as well as the implementation of a marketing strategy in local and international markets.

Helping tourism organizations make it through the crisis

Since the start of the crisis, the Government of Canada has been supporting organizations in the tourism industry, including through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), deployed in Quebec by CED and its collaborators. As a reminder, the RRRF has made it possible to provide funding and technical support to businesses and organizations to help them maintain their activities. In this way, with the help of Sociétés d'aide au développement des collectivités (SADCs), Centres d'aide aux entreprises (CAEs) and PME MTL, 1167 organizations in Quebec’s tourism sector have received contributions through the RRRF totalling over $44 million. Thanks to this measure, some 9400 jobs have been maintained.

The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal has been able to count on $1,000,000 under the RRRF to help maintain essential operations.

The tourism industry, which plays a crucial role in the economic, social and cultural life of communities, represents an essential link in regional economic development. Through this support, the Government of Canada is attesting to its commitment to prepare the field for after the pandemic with a view to rebuilding a stronger, more resilient and more just economy for all.


“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the Government of Canada is committed to accompanying key players as they prepare to rebound vigorously after the economic crisis. We have been here since the start of this unprecedented situation, with concrete measures, and we will be here to support tourism as the health situation evolves. We must plan the economic recovery, which can only happen with the contribution of players in the tourism community, so that we can get off to a new start together and be stronger and more resilient.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“The CED assistance announced today highlights our willingness to support the tourism industry and our commitment to Canadian businesses, organizations and citizens in these difficult times. The financial contributions granted to the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal and the Just for Laughs Festival are very good news for Montréal and its attractiveness. Thanks to Government of Canada investments in the tourism industry, we are ensuring we will be ready to receive tourists from home, and then from around the world!”

Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Hochelaga and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“The Just for Laughs Festival is a flagship event in Montréal that, for several decades now, has contributed to the metropolis’s economic and tourism development. With CED’s support, the event will maintain its content offering and continue to innovate by adapting digital dissemination tools to reach more local and international festival goers. By doing so, the Festival is continuing to evolve, maintaining its relevance and helping with the economic recovery.”

Anne Belliveau, Chief Marketing Officer, Just for Laughs Group

“CED’s assistance will enable us to cover certain operating costs so we are ready for the recovery of our economy and the tourism sector. As a proud Montréaler, and on behalf of the entire Basilica team, I thank CED and Minister Joly and her office for their collaboration. This contribution will have a real impact and represents a first step towards safeguarding this Quebec jewel, which will celebrate its 200-year anniversary in 2029.”

Claudia Morissette, Director, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

“Whether it was to experience the energy of a festival or to visit its attractions and discover its culture, before the COVID-19 crisis millions of people every year were drawn to Montréal, with its established charm. The tourism industry is maintaining this incredible potential to help kickstart the metropolis’s economy, and the investments announced today will only reinforce the destination’s attractiveness, to the benefit of all of Quebec.”

François-G. Chevrier, Chief Executive Officer, Événements Attractions Québec

Quick facts

  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 business offices, CED is present to accompany Quebec businesses, supporting organizations and regions into tomorrow’s economy.
  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, is the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.
  • Recognizing the importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) in supporting local tourism businesses, the Government of Canada proposed as part of the Fall Economic Statement (November 2020) an additional $500 million for RDAs.
  • Total funding for the RRRF sits at over $2 billion, and at least 25% of this amount will be granted to boost local tourism businesses, representing over $500 million in support to kickstart tourism by June 2021.

Associated links


Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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