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Industrial development in Val-d’Or: a unique expertise.

I’ve been working as an industrial commissioner for the Val-d’Or Industrial Development Corporation (La Corpo) for over twenty years now, and this job has shown me some peculiarities of the profession that never cease to amaze me.

For many, the very definition of the term “Industrial Commissioner” is nebulous and mysterious.


I remember when I was new to the profession. In the hope of having a better survival rate than my predecessors, I tried to define my role as clearly as possible. I made an appointment with the mayor at the time, Mr. Fernand Trahan, first to get to know each other better, and second to understand my role and the expectations of the elite who govern us. To avoid any grey areas, I went straight to the point with the million-dollar question:

« “Fernand, what’s an industrial commissioner? »

Being familiar with the person, I braced myself to the chair, ready for a response worthy of a Floridian storm. Long silences followed by long silences, with no storm in sight. Suddenly I felt my interlocutor straighten up in his seat and blurt out in his frankness:

“I don’t have any **** ideas, but make it work. That’s all!”.

It was then clear to me : “I make things work” :  vague and precise all at once.

On this shifting basis, we worked to define my role and the Valdorian approach to industrial development.

Starting out as a rather passive non-profit organization, we’ve made an important decision. From now on, we’re going to behave like a business. This approach has created a lot of upheaval in the day-to-day running of the organization. With the complicity of the person who had previously defined my task, we have gone from being a mere occupant playing a role defined by the elite to being a full partner and accomplice of the City of Val-d’Or. We make things work.

This new approach has changed Corpo’s image. To date, our relationship with entrepreneurs has been built on exchanges in an entrepreneurial language. We’re in business! Since then, we’ve developed a certain notoriety and a close relationship with our contractors. Our motto: simplicity, agility and proactivity. The Board of Directors has fully embraced this approach.

The Val-d’Or Industrial Park has undergone impressive development in recent years.

Three key factors have facilitated this development:

  1. A legacy of land left to us by our founders;
  2. A close working relationship with the municipality and all its stakeholders;
  3. A commitment to community growth.


These factors and the urgency to act propelled the Corpo to becoming a project manager.

With a view to accelerating Val-d’Or’s industrial development, the Corpo built up a certain expertise in civil works management (street and utility development). It responded quickly and efficiently to contractors’ requests.

Through a mutual agreement with the City of Val-d’Or, the Corpo took on this new role.

It now works upstream of urban industrial developments, collaborating with the municipality in the planning of an area dedicated to secondary and tertiary industry.

With over 10 streets built, the Val-d’Or Industrial Park is a small town within a town.


This planning is strategic, both in the prioritization of sectors and in the creation of subdivision layouts.

Supported by the municipality, the Corpo works in concert with our local engineering firms in the planning of projects, and the storm drainage network, its management and outlets.

It manages applications for certificates of authorization from the Ministry of the Environment, including all required field studies.

It plans related services such as gas and electricity. It calls for tenders and selects the best contractor. It then manages the project as prime contractor.

It shares the costs with the municipality. It ensures the quality of the work and delivers a new street to the community. Once the street is completed, we provide electrification and gas connections.

The Corpo then proceeds with the sale of the newly-created plots, this being the final stage in its efforts. It sets the terms of sale, revises the notarized contracts. At the end of the process, it follows up on contractual commitments. The process starts all over again.

Having reached the territorial limits inherited from its predecessors, the Corpo faces new challenges. It must optimize its territory.


Rock mounds are blasted and recesses filled in order to use the land to its full potential. Corpo must manage blasting plans, ensure the necessary volumes are available to create new lots, and ensure compliance with government and municipal environmental regulations.

From a long-term perspective, the acquisition of new land involves changes to the development plan and the creation of new zones. Acquiring lots from the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Corpo must work with the mining companies to manage the mineral rights on the land to be acquired. It must prepare budgets for a future development plan. It must set development schedules. And … plan for completion. All this work must be well coordinated with the MRC and the municipality.

Building on its expertise, the Corpo is carrying out the same actions in the development of the Airport Park, where it is collaborating with Aéroport régional de Val-d’Or. This involves managing another organization, the Val-d’Or Airport Development Council.

La Corpo was challenged by housing issues. It therefore created the Corporation habitation Val-d’Or and, in collaboration with the municipality, proceeded to build new housing units.

With the arrival of the Innovation Zone projects, Corpo has also set up a new organization known as Novinor Innovation. We are planning to build a research and innovation center at the Val-d’Or airport in the coming years.

Do you remember Mayor Trahan’s words at the beginning of this text? I think it’s fair to say that, after all these years, the Val-d’Or Industrial Development Corporation “makes it work”.
It has successfully evolved its organizational model to continue to support its entrepreneurs in their development and ensure economic sustainability for the community.


  • Jean-Yves Poitras, industrial commissioner