Social Economy Summit | Towards a major collective project

In a speech on 1er November 1996, Lucien Bouchard announced his plans in Quebec following the Economy and Employment Summit: establishment of the CPE network, establishment of home help companies, creation of a dedicated fund to the start-up of social economy businesses (RISQ), billions of investments in collective and private entrepreneurial projects and more.

Posted at 5:00 a.m.

Béatrice Alain

Director General, Social Economy Project

How was the government of the time able to do so much in such a short time in the social economy, all in a context of economic and fiscal crisis? We are talking here, after all, about the development of institutions and services to the population which are now the very foundations of our common conception of what it is to live in Quebec.

It all begins with a head-on recognition of the economic and social crisis that was shaking Quebec at the time. What followed was a radical act of consultation, the recognition of the need to develop capacities for collective action complementary to those of the State and that other actors had resources, expertise, and a desire to contribute to the development of Quebec.

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Young shoots for future green roofs

All around the same table

By seating the three major pillars of the economy in Quebec around the table – the public, the private and the collective, notably the social economy and the community – and by bringing together workers, employers and civil society, the government allowed itself to have, in one place, all those who build Quebec together.

Faced with current challenges, the Social Economy Project, a crossroads of the social economy movement, supported by dozens of organizations from civil society, employers and unions, the community and academia, invites the government to join the ongoing discussions which aim to find collective solutions to the most urgent common challenges.

In May 2025 the Social Economy Summit will be held. During this event, a successor to the great summit of 1996 as well as that of 2006, agreed by the actors of the social economy themselves, all those who want to tackle the task of economic transformation will be brought together. and social and improving the quality of life of all those who live in the territory.

After all, it is by working together that we can establish, for example, a universal school feeding system to combat hunger in schools or build a large non-profit housing stock for s tackle the housing crisis.

Collectively addressing these major issues is only possible when we sit down together, around the same table, and build the resilience of our communities, particularly in the face of the impacts of climate change.

Over the next year, we will advance work towards this summit on eight distinct themes, including food, real estate, the environment, seniors and culture. This summit will be a time to solidify alliances, commitments, and implement projects that will tackle the pressing issues we face.

The major work leading up to the 1996 Summit lasted nine months. There is still a little more than a year before the 2025 Social Economy Summit. We, the undersigned, organizations representing a majority of the political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual interests of Quebec, therefore invite citizens and governments to a major collective project to face our common challenges. See you there in May 2025!

Co-signatories: Marie-Line Audet, general director, National Table of Community Development Corporations; Catherine Bibeau-Lorrain, president, Quebec Student Union (UEQ); Karl Blackburn, President and CEO, Conseil du patronat du Québec; Pierre Boivin, co-president of GALOPH; Denis Bolduc, general secretary, Quebec Federation of Workers (FTQ); Robert Dutton, associate professor at HEC Montréal; Patrick Kearney, president of REFRAIN, Group of independent regional artistic festivals; Adrienne Kelly, President and CEO, Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation; Sabaa Khan, Executive Director, Quebec and the Atlantic, David Suzuki Foundation; Régis Labeaume, former mayor of Quebec; Phyllis Lambert, architect, founding director and chair of the board of trustees of the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA); Murielle Laberge, rector, University of Quebec en Outaouais; Myriam Lapointe-Gagnon, founder, My place at work; Sophie-Laurence H. Lauzon and Lise Bizzoni, co-general directors, Women in the Environment Network; Sarah-Katherine Lutz, general director, ENvironnement JEUnesse; Karel Mayrand, CEO, Foundation of Greater Montreal; Henry Mintzberg, professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University; Marie-Josée Paquette, Director General, Quebec Council for Cooperation and Mutuality; Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, former mayor of Gatineau and author; Claude Pinard, President and CEO, Centraide of Greater Montreal; Mickel Robertson, Director General of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Economic Development Commission; Christian Savard, general director, Living in the city; Marc Séguin, artist; Caroline Senneville, president, Confederation of National Trade Unions; Edouard Staco, president, Socioeconomic Summit for the Development of Youth in Black Communities; Colleen Thorpe, Executive Director, Équiterre; Martin Vaillancourt, Director General, National Regroupment of Regional Environmental Councils of Quebec

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