On June 1, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal hosted a talk with Janie C. Béïque, President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. In office since April 1, 2021, she is the first woman to lead the Fonds. Her visit to the Chamber was her first public speech since her appointment.
Ms. Béïque presented how she interprets the environmental and social challenges facing the company, our collective responsibility for the situation, and how the Fonds commits to generating momentum in Quebec. Here is a look at the key moments of the final talk in the Chamber’s 2021-2022 season.
“Nothing is as contagious as example. When strong values guide our decisions, we can draw inspiration from others.” – Janie C. Béïque, President and CEO, Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Popular success that shows no signs of waning
The Fonds d’investissement du Fonds FTQ contributed over $1 billion to the Quebec economy during 2021-2022. The Fonds FTQ manages net assets of $18.3 billion, sustainably contributing to the development of Quebec’s economy and employment
“The Fonds de solidarité FTQ will turn 40 next year, a popular success that shows no signs of waning. It represents $18.3 billion in assets, support to over 3,400 businesses, and 247,000 jobs.”
Janie C. Béïque believes that financial performance remains essential today, but that it alone does not measure a company’s success. Social and environmental performance are just as important.
“In five years, with the leverage effect of our shareholder savers, $12 billion has been put toward the environment. We invest in the sustainable development of society and the planet”
Three main challenges to overcome
Janie C. Béïque took advantage of our appearance at the Chamber to share her vision and the main challenges that the Fonds will tackle in the coming years.
Janie C. Béïque started her speech by indicating that the biggest challenge of the 21st century will be climate change
“We have not reached our climate targets. In 30 years, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7%, while Quebec’s target is to reduce emissions by 37% in 2030 compared with 1990 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We need to review our economic model; a just transition will be our priority.”
Retirement savings plans are in constant decline, according to the President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. The responsibility of preparing for retirement is being shifted to the shoulders of individuals, she lamented.
“Quebec has the poorest retirees in Canada. We need to keep working on retirement savings; it’s essential, particularly in the context of an aging population.”
People at the heart of decisions
There is a great deal of pressure: inflation is gaining ground, there is war in Ukraine, supply chains are fragile, and stress and anxiety are rising. This is in addition to another pandemic, according to Janie C. Béïque: people feel disregarded and disillusioned, and they want to find meaning in their lives again.
“One needs to rethink one’s purpose to restore meaning to life. Technology is part of the solution; it helps people and workers advance. It is important that businesses be productive, along with the people who make them up.”
Janie C. Béïque ended with a message of kindness. She underlined the scope of current and future challenges but reiterated that the Fonds de solidarité FTQ remains close to the businesses it supports.
“We invest in plans and dreams. Nonetheless, we have the duty to educate businesses so they can make a difference.”