CED - Serving communities

February 26, 2018

The Community Economic Development service (CED) has been around since CDEM's inception in 1996, and is one of the organization's key drivers.    

According to Jean-Michel Beaudry, CED Director: "The service essentially reflects CDEM's purpose. We provide direct assistance to the communities. We can also be involved with businesses, but there typically has to be a community project behind it."

 Jean-Michel Beaudry, CDEM's director of CED

The service works with the municipalities and the Community Development Corporations (CDCs), providing them with different kinds of support.  

"For the infrastructure projects, we are there from the design to the construction phase. We can also provide ad-hoc assistance for conducting feasibility, planning and funding studies, or preparing quote requests, or we can serve as a guide throughout the duration of the project," adds Beaudry.

skaters will be able to ride at Lorette this spring

CED is currently involved in some 30 infrastructure projects in 16 bilingual communities, and the number increases daily. One example is the skate park project in Lorette, successfully completed with CDEM's support.   

 Lorette's new skate park will open this spring

Yann Boissonneault, the man behind the project, says: "It would have been much more complicated without CDEM. CED's Christian Fais had the construction expertise to connect us with the right people to create and install the structure. CDEM also helped us get government funding. The skate park is a wonderful attraction for the RM of Taché."

Yann Boissonault, the man behind the skatepark

The CED service consists of a three-person multidisciplinary team that is often joined by two members of the tourism service, given that many infrastructure projects include this component.  

Jean-Michel Beaudry is especially proud of the Fort Ellice tourism project in St. Lazare, scheduled to open to visitors this summer. 

"It will celebrate the early history of the Métis Nation," he says. "When we talk about the vitality of Francophone communities, we think about economic vitality, but there must also be cultural vitality. Otherwise, it's a community with no identity. When culture becomes the driving force of economic development, CDEM's mission is being fully accomplished."

Another example: CDEM is currently working on the construction of a building to house archives in St. Claude. "There are no archives in the area, so we'd like it to become a regional archive centre for the neighbouring municipalities," explains St. Claude Historical Society treasurer, Robert De Smet.

Robert De Smet, St. Claude Historical Society treasurer

The archives will contain a host of documents, including school and town records, local newspapers, certificates, religious and hospital documents, and the history of families, from the region and across Manitoba.

"CDEM will share its expertise to help us enhance our visibility, and seek and secure funding," he says. "We’ve already met with them a few times, and their ideas will be very useful."

For Jean-Michel Beaudry, CED is therefore a guide and a facilitator. "Once the community has identified the need, we give them customized free support," he says.

For more information on how CDEM can help you with your community projects:

Jean-Michel Beaudry

(204) 925-2833

jmbeaudry@cdem.com