SAINT-VALLIER, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced that two Chaudière-Appalaches snowmobiling clubs, Club de motoneige Bellechasse and Motoneige des Etchemins, have been granted financial assistance for the purchase of snow grooming machines.
"Chaudière-Appalaches is a territory well suited to the practice of snowmobiling. With this financial support, our government is fostering the growth of winter tourism in the region," said Minister Blaney.
Club motoneige Bellechasse oversees the upkeep of 170 kilometres of snowmobile trails. The purchase of this new snow grooming machine will enable the organization to guarantee all users safe and accessible trails that meet the industry's standards.
Motoneige des Etchemins, for its part, takes care of the maintenance of 175 kilometres of trails, 105 kilometres of which are part of the Trans-Québec network. The funding was used for the acquisition of a snow grooming machine to improve the quality of the trails, which should help bolster snowmobiling tourism in the area.
"The Bellechasse and Etchemins RCMs are massive winter playgrounds that draw snowmobilers and quad riders from here and all over. Increasing the attraction of this activity in the region has a positive impact on the health of the local economy and benefits the businesses linked directly and indirectly to the practice of this sport," stated Gilles Lacroix, president of Club de motoneige de Bellechasse, and Kathleen Swinford, president of Motoneige des Etchemins.
In 2010-2011, the organized practice of snowmobiling and quad riding in Chaudière-Appalaches generated about $42 million in economic spinoffs, benefiting the region's hotels, restaurants and equipment rental shops, among others. These two clubs are thus adding their efforts to those of regional economic stakeholders in consolidating and strengthening the popularity of the province's 33,000 kilometres of trails on markets outside Quebec
This financial assistance, granted in the form of non-repayable contributions of $125,000 to Club motoneige Bellechasse and $57,700 to Motoneige des Etchemins, has been awarded through Canada Economic Development's Community Diversification program and is in line with the spirit of the National Tourism Strategy recently put in place to promote Canada as a prime tourist destination.
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