There’s optimism about the economic future of Argenteuil.

On November 23, the Prefect of the Municipalité régionale du comté (MRC) d’Argenteuil, and the mayor of Lachute gave a presentation promoting the strong economic growth the region is experiencing.

The presentation was made at a dinner meeting of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie d’Argenteuil (CCIA)—the chamber of commerce, held in Brownsburg-Chatham.

MRC prefect Scott Pearce, who is also the mayor of Gore, explained the development vision and principles of the MRC. “As a local government, we must be opportunistic and selective and choose our areas of development with rigour, guided by a long-term vision, according to the principles of sustainable development, for the benefit of current and future generations,” he said.

Lachute mayor Carl Péloquin outlined the MRC’s economic revitalization strategy, which was developed in 2014-2015 after consulting with 133 community partners.

The strategy contains three main priorities.  They are industrial development, education and the workforce, and entrepreneurship.

Nearly $200 million in economic investment is expected as investments in Argenteuil in 2018-2019. That investment is expected to create 800, mostly full-time jobs.

MRC director of economic development Dany Brassard, and Lachute municipal director-general Benoît Gravel, explained some of the developments and related activities taking place in the region.

Synercité in Lachute is a collaborative project that links together manufacturing companies that use similar materials. It is anchored by the head office of Tricentris, the largest materials sorting centre in Québec.

Recognizing a need to attract and retain workers, the MRC hired a person to work on that issue in the spring of 2018. A major marketing and branding campaign to attract workers is planned for 2019.

Almost $16 million, including $10 million in government grants, will be invested over the next few years to give up to 3,500 households access to high-speed fiber optic Internet service, mainly in the northern part of Argenteuil.

Redevelopment plans in downtown Lachute will start with converting the former United church into a public library.

The MRC d’Argenteuil is going to keep lobbying the Québec government on issues related to development.

It wants the Metropolitan Express network, a new transportation system in the Montreal region, extended to Mirabel airport.

The MRC and its municipalities also want Autoroute 50 widened to four lanes between Lachute and Mirabel.

Financial assistance is also needed for a new arena in Lachute, reconstruction of the residential and long-term care facility in Lachute, and restoring the Grenville canal area for recreational use.

In 2019, the MRC will be adding a new staff position to its economic development team who will be dedicated to finding new investment prospects for the region.

Pearce urged everyone to become ambassadors for Argenteuil and show their pride in their community, and to support local products.

He also thanked the CCIA for its support and announced that the MRC is renewing its $15,000 in support to it for 2019.