Quebec funds university courses in Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, says Legault


The premier said the goal is two-fold: to retain young people in the area and to fill nursing, social work and teaching positions.

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Premier François Legault was in pre-campaign mode on Wednesday, making several announcements related to education and energy in the Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine region.

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In the morning, while visiting the CEGEP de la Gaspésie et des Îles campus in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, he announced that the Government of Quebec is granting $1.35 million per year to the University of Quebec. in Rimouski (UQAR) to settle permanently in the region.

Four fields of university studies are targeted by the initiative: management sciences, nursing sciences, social work and education (preschool and primary education).

At a press conference, Legault said the goal is twofold: to retain young people in the area and to fill positions in nursing, social work and teaching.

The government assistance will enable the university to offer courses on the three campuses of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles in Gaspé, Carleton-sur-Mer and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

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Legault clarified that professors will work on campuses, noting that remote learning “is not the best way to motivate someone.”

Alongside Legault, the rector of UQAR, François Deschênes, said that more than 75% of those who study at UQAR subsequently obtain employment in the region.

Later in Gaspé, Legault announced that the government was allowing Hydro-Quebec to issue a call for tenders for 2,300 megawatt wind and renewable energy projects, which he called the largest call for tenders for renewable energies in the history of Quebec.

The first 1,000 MW will be reserved for wind power, while the rest will be open to other sources such as solar and biomass.

Legault said he turned to wind power, after once criticizing it was too expensive. “The cost of wind energy has come down significantly,” he noted. And it’s faster to set up, with some wind turbines to be operational by 2027.

He denied that the ads were intended to woo voters in eastern Quebec, saying he was “responding to the needs of Quebec citizens.”

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