Launched in May 2011 by the former Liberal Quebec government, the Plan Nord is a sustainable development program for northern Quebec that establishes the framework for the long-term economic and social development of an area that covers approximately 72 percent of Quebec’s territory (463,323 square miles).
The government will deploy the Plan Nord over the next 25 years through a series of phases and is expected to lead to 80 billion Canadian dollars ($81.8 billion) in public and private investments. The Plan Nord focuses primarily on the mining, forestry, biofood and tourism industries and places great emphasis on the development of energy, transportation, communication and social infrastructure, such as housing.
It is worth noting that two other major economic arms of the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec and Investissement Quebec, were assigned important roles in their respective areas of expertise, namely the development of energy strategies and the coordination of public investments in private-sector projects.
In the 2012 budget, the Quebec government refined the role of Investissement Quebec, not only vis-à-vis the Plan Nord but in the natural resource sector generally.