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Quebec Cement Industry Condemns Government Decision To Invest In The Port-Daniel-Gascons Cement Plant Project

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Quebec Cement Industry Condemns Government Decision To Invest In The Port-Daniel-Gascons Cement Plant Project

Montreal, January 29, 2014. The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) expressed anger and disappointment at the Government of Quebec’s decision, reported in some media today, to provide substantial financial assistance to the construction of a new cement plant. Furthermore, the CAC and its members are extremely disappointed, given the scope of the project, that the government will not be subjecting it to the usual full environmental assessment process (BAPE).

The CAC is all the more dismayed by the Marois government's decision to provide financial backing for this project after it submitted an economic forecast of cement demand and production in northeastern North America to the Minister, Mrs. Zakaïb, at her request. This report, written by two independent economists, shows that, contrary to the claims of the project's promoter (McInnis), the market for which the plant's production is intended cannot absorb additional cement production, given the existing production structure and the slow economic recovery.

"Furthermore, as we have explained repeatedly to the government, Quebec's cement producers are running at just 60% of their production capacity", declared Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada.

If a new plant is built to serve the same markets, with an annual capacity of 2.2 million tons, it will compete directly with Quebec's existing cement producers. The government's financial support for this project will thus threaten jobs in existing cement plants. "This new plant will displace existing economic opportunities from one part of Quebec to another, without creating new ones. It will not generate new jobs and will do nothing to improve the province's overall economic prosperity", added Mr. McSweeney.

The government's position shows no respect for the businesses and the thousands of workers that are linked, directly or indirectly, to the Quebec cement industry. These businesses and their employees have been participating in the province's economy for decades, paying their Quebec taxes and complying with all the rules that have been imposed on them. In return, instead of allowing the free play of competition, the government is kneecapping the industry with a purely political decision.

About the Cement Association of Canada

The Cement Association of Canada is the voice of the Canadian cement industry and a significant contributor to the country's economy and infrastructure. The industry provides a reliable domestic supply of cement, which is needed for building Canada's infrastructure. The members of the CAC manufacture cement and concrete products in an environmentally responsible manner. The CAC's member companies in Quebec are: Ciment Québec, Colacem Canada, Holcim Canada and Lafarge Canada.

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Information:

Michel Binette
Vice-President, Legal, Public and Government Affairs
Cement Association of Canada
T: 418.527.3973

Lyse Teasdale,
Director, Communications
Cement Association of Canada
T: 613.236.9471 ext. 211