Construction permits top $500M mark
"That’s good news for the city — just in the month of December we gained 2,400 jobs in Gatineau."
It’s easy for Gatineau Mayor Marc Bureau to talk up his town these days.
Job creation in Gatineau has been one of the strongest in the province over three years and a report yesterday by the city into development activity shows that over a half-billion dollars worth of building permits were issued last year, says Bureau, reflecting the flow of jobs and new residents that have been coming into Quebec’s side of the capital.
Housing developments, a factory, industrial park, grocery stores and even a large new Wal-Mart store led Gatineau to issue construction permits worth $505.1 million last year, a 15-per-cent increase over the $440.6 million in permits issued in 2006.
Bureau expects that trend to stay steady in ’08, with at least two new office towers planned by the federal government to help plump the numbers.
“We’re in the process now that we’re going to build two big buildings in Gatineau, for 6,000 employees,” Bureau said. “That’s good news for the city — just in the month of December we gained 2,400 jobs in Gatineau.”
Commercial and industrial construction led the spurt of new growth, jumping 53 per cent last year compared to 2006. Housing permits are still the mainstays, though they rose only 3.4 per cent to $341 million in 2007, compared to the 53-per-cent increase in commercial-industrial.
Job creation, inexpensive housing and social programs are winning Gatineau more of the capital region’s residents, Bureau said.
“We’re creating new jobs and I think the housing is very less expensive,” he said. “Suppose you have a house of $300,000 in the City of Ottawa, you’re going to pay $180,000 for that house in Gatineau.
“Maybe it’s our social programs from the government, too — if you have a family, you can put a child in a nursery for $7 a day, so that’s really good.”