The Quebec Report: Facelift for the HEC Decelles building

The Quebec report is a joint publication between RENX (Real Estate News Exchange) and Le pied carré.

Jeff Rubin at BOMEX 2009 Luncheon

Dany Gauthier, Senior Property Manager for SITQ presented the keynote speaker for the BOMEX 2009 luncheon. M. Jeff Rubin has been the top ranked economist in Canadian financial markets for more than a decade. Throughout his career Mr. Rubin’s work has often been the subject of national headlines and has been instrumental in raising key issues to the national spotlight. Abroad is best known for his work in Global energy markets and has become internationally recognized for his impressions on oil prices and their economy impacts. His path breaking book, “Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller” is published by Random House, in Canada, U.S. and United Kingdom in late 2009.

Rubin's main point was that the upcoming irreversibly high oil prices will make transportation extremely expensive and render a global economy impossible. The result, he argued, will be the re-emergence of local economies.

Distance will cost money
So what's going to happen in a world of triple digit oil prices? It's not that we're going to stop eating, but we're certainly not going to be importing food from halfway around the world if it won't even pay to import steel from halfway around the world. So what are all of a sudden, where are we going to get that food? In Ontario in 1985, 45% of all the food consumed in Ontario was produced in Ontario. Today, less than 20%, and I don't think the numbers would be any different from Quebec or Ohio or any other jurisdiction in North America.

If all of a sudden it becomes no longer possible to fly in tangerines in the middle of the winter from Chile, or to fly in food or ship food in from China, we're going to have to end up growing more of our own. The only problem of course is, that half of the agricultural land that used to exist in 1950 and 1960 has been paved over.

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Facelift for the HEC Decelles building

The Honourable Claude Carignan, Senator, representing the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and the Honourable Michelle Courchesne, Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, announced a total of $25,426,000 in investment at HEC Montréal, under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

From left to right : Michel Patry, Director, HEC Montreal, Michelle Courchesne, Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Senator Claude Carignan.

This major investment will go toward updating classrooms and student work rooms.
Plans include converting some twenty classrooms and creating student work rooms, an amphitheatre and a specialized room for preparing students for national and international business competitions – a first in Quebec.

There will also be extensive technological improvements: ACL monitors, mobile lecterns for professors, interactive blackboards and graphics tablets will all be integrated. Both faculty and students will benefit from this advanced teaching environment.

“This contribution by the two governments will allow the School not only to maintain its position as one of the world’s top business schools,” emphasized HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry, “but also to ensure its leadership in the use of information and communications technology to support teaching. When the Decelles building went up in 1970, it made extensive use of the audiovisual tools available at the time. Starting in the 1990s, HEC Montréal began using laptops in its classrooms and created the first trading room at a Quebec university. Now, by 2009, it had become imperative that we upgrade the classrooms and optimize the use of new technology in the Decelles building, which is also heavily used by our students.”
About the Knowledge Infrastructure Program

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The agreement signed by the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec under this program will go toward various projects at Quebec post-secondary institutions, consisting of new construction and maintenance work, renovations, repairs and upkeep.

For more information on the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, see
For information on progress under the Plan québécois des infrastructures, see

Le Massif de Charlevoix: A new brand identity in the image of the destination's soul and spirit
President and general manager of Groupe Le Massif, Daniel Gauthier, revealed the brand identity of his project: Le Massif de Charlevoix. In the image of the four-season tourism and recreation destination that will span between river and mountains, the project wants to be authentic, evolutionary and pretention-free.

Le Massif de Charlevoix is a tourism and recreation project representing a $230M investment between now and 2013. Beyond Le Massif Ski Area, this original project spans from Baie-Saint-Paul to Petite-Rivière-Saint-François in the Charlevoix. Notwithstanding the touring train and rail shuttle, the on-territory offer includes close to 400 lodging units, of which a 150-room bioclimatic hotel as well as a 500-seat multifunctional venue. The site is destined to become a genuine experimental laboratory for tourists.

“We have preferred a simple, evocative name that leads back to the very essence of the project,” mentioned Daniel Gauthier, as he expressed wanting “to do something different – reinventing new ways of doing things and ways of thinking – for the project to become a model of sustainable development, on both the human and the environmental scale.”

Inspired by the Soul and Spirit of the Locale

Until recently known as Territoire Le Massif, the project's new name regroups three environments, namely La Montagne, La Ferme and Le Train, and finds its inspiration from the destination's personality.

“Le Massif de Charlevoix is a name that is banking on the reputation of Le Massif as it is know today, but also on Charlevoix, a region that enjoys considerable fame on the national and international scenes,” Gauthier pointed out, whose wish is to not only ensure the sustainability of the ski area, but to also contribute to Charlevoix's success on social, economic and tourism related spheres.

Reinventing Ways of Communicating

Developed by Taxi advertising agency, the new visual identity is intriguing and universal, in the image of the territory of creativity and freedom at the heart of which visitors will be called upon to live experiences that will awaken their senses. “It is the fruit of several years of reflection and a creation process inspired by this unusual project, where it was necessary for us to reinvent our ways of doing things as well,” mentioned with a hint of a smile Frédéric Gonzalo, vice-president, marketing and communications at Groupe Le Massif.

Gonzalo presented Sens, Le Massif de Charlevoix Magazine, designed by YQB Media and highlighting the Charlevoix art of living, prior to offering a preview of the new experiential website created by interactive branding agency CloudRaker, which is due online in November. With on its home page a 360degrees image of unprecedented realism uncannily recreating the vast territory upon which the project's three environments integrate as one, the Massif de Charlevoix experience is brought to life thanks to countless video clips.

Quebec Set to Build $400M Arena
With one eye on an NHL franchise and another on the 2022 Winter Olympics, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume unveiled an ambitious plan yesterday to build a $400-million arena, with federal and provincial politicians voicing support for the project.

The two senior levels of government are being asked to inject $175-million apiece, with the city pumping in the remaining $50-million for a building that would seat 18,000 spectators.

If all goes well, the city could have its new arena as early as 2012. But first Mr. Labeaume needs to be re-elected Nov. 1. Barring a sudden surge in popularity by the handful of marginal candidates running against him, he is expected to win by a landslide.

So after meeting NHL president Gary Bettman last week in New York, Mr. Labeaume has cast his re-election bid as a referendum on the construction of the arena as the first step towards attracting a new team to replace the popular Nordiques, who moved to Colorado 15 years ago. The stronger the turnout on his behalf in the balloting, the greater the pressure he expects to exert on Quebec and Ottawa to dish out the cash.
“This project is now part of our proposals for the November 1st election,” he told a news conference yesterday. “We need the support of the population of Quebec City to go further with this project.”
Quebec City doesn't want any handouts, he insisted. Mr. Labeaume said his business plan will make a number of suggestions that may include funding from private sponsors, a special lottery or money from the tobacco tax that will help government recover its share of the funding.

The mayor added that the project doesn't hinge on getting an NHL franchise or winning an Olympic bid. The opposite is true, he said. “Without the arena, you can be sure that no professional [hockey] team will want to come here,” he argued, noting that the Colisée where the Nordiques played is old and inadequate.
The president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Marcel Aubut, a one-time part owner of the Nordiques who set up last week's meeting with Mr. Bettman, said that with a new arena the city would be well-positioned to get an NHL franchise.

“I've known Mr. Bettman for 18 years and it is rare that he commits himself in the way that he has during our meeting,” Mr. Aubut said. “But without the new arena, forget it.”
The anticipated announcement has been the talk of the town for days in local newscasts, open-line radio shows and newspaper articles. The dream of acquiring an NHL franchise triggered massive popular support, and no federal or provincial minister dared rain on Mr. Labeaume's parade.
The federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Josée Verner, who represents a Quebec City riding, suggested the money could come out of the federal infrastructure program as part of Quebec's share of the funding. “It's up to the province to determine its priorities,” she said.
Provincial Labour Minister Sam Hamad, who is responsible for the region, said his government will take a serious look at the proposal. “We are open to the project … we want an NHL franchise and we want a new arena for Quebec City,” Mr. Hamad said.

Montreal Construction Costs 35% Higher Due to Price Fixing
Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and opposition leaders said a public inquiry must be called if reports of price fixing and collusion for municipal infrastructure projects among Quebec construction firms are confirmed by police.

In a report which aired Thursday night on Radio-Canada's investigative news program Enquete, Paul Sauve, president of the masonry company LM Sauve, said a group of contractors nicknamed “the Fabulous 14” control most of the bids in Montreal and have colluded to keep rates high, taking turns “winning” contracts.
Construction costs in the Montreal area are 35 per cent higher than they should be because of the price fixing, one entrepreneur who spoke on condition of anonymity told Radio-Canada.

“I think the negligence is obvious” if the reports are true, Vision Montreal mayoral candidate Louise Harel said. “I think there was blindness, because the prices were swollen by 35 per cent. This should have set off an alarm. It shouldn't be left to a journalistic investigation to bring this out.”

Mayoral challenger Richard Bergeron said the report backs up his contention that political donations should be eradicated, and Montreal police should be allowed to form an anti-corruption unit.
Quebec provincial police are investigating, Radio-Canada reported.
Tremblay said any company found guilty of collusion will be barred from city contracts for five years. He added that corruption in the construction industry occurs across Quebec, and not just in Montreal.
Francois Beaudry, who worked as an engineer for the Transport Department for 33 years, said a construction firm owner called him in 2003 and correctly predicted the outcome of 10 important contracts in nearby Laval that were announced the next day. Beaudry said firms speak in a special code in phone conversations to set higher prices for contracts and bids. Intimidation and threats are common, and the Montreal Mafia is heavily involved, Beaudry said.

The SAQ and HEC Montréal Team Up to Improve Retail Trade Practices in Quebec

The Société des alcools du Québec and HEC Montréal announced a new initiative: the SAQ–HEC Montréal Program in Retail Management. This strategic partnership between the corporation and the School is intended to provide retail managers and owners with better tools, to help them meet today’s substantial challenges and keep their businesses profitable and thriving. The intensive 45-hour program is divided up into five modules, with one module every three weeks. It explores the various aspects of retail management from the point of view of managers and owner-operators.

From left to right : Michel Patry, Director, HEC Montréal, Philippe Duval, President and CEO of the SAQ, Robert Desormeaux, Marketing Professor and Program Director

The content will be taught by experts from the retail industry, HEC Montréal professors and veteran consultants, chosen for their superior skills in the course material and the retail industry in general. “This association with the SAQ will allow the School to offer a program closely suited to participants’ needs, to help them acquire and improve the management knowledge and skills essential to retail trade,” explains Marketing Professor Robert Desormeaux , Director of the new program.

The program will look at different aspects of marketing, from strategy to the client’s experience. It will also deal with finance, control, operations management, procurement, human resources management and leadership. Louise Faubert, of the Quebec Department of economic development, innovation and export, helped develop the program and is acting as a special advisor to HEC Montréal.

The SAQ is pleased to be part of this SAQ–HEC Montréal Program in Retail Management. Philippe Duval, President and CEO of the SAQ, emphasized its commitment to developing the retail profession. “This training is sure to help create more effective managers, to advance knowledge and share best practices in the industry. It is also a message to tomorrow’s managers, assuring them that a career in retail is not only possible, but also exciting and full of challenges,” said Mr. Duval.

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