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Well before the end of the year, the Port of Sept‑Îles proudly announced it had surpassed the 30-million-tonne mark for goods shipped in early December. This level of activity has not been seen since the iron industry’s late-1970s boom, when the Port ranked second in Canada. Reaching this major milestone was one of the year’s main highlights. It cements the Port’s position as a leader among top-tier cargo ports in North America.

Behind every tonne handled throughout the year stands a multitude of men and women working in various logistics chains to serve the port. Together they account for more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in and around the port of Sept‑Îles. They all deserve recognition.

This is even more remarkable given the COVID‑19 pandemic that disrupted our lives and work. We hold in high regard and sincerely thank all healthcare and other service workers who stood strong on the front lines to manage this unprecedented crisis.


It was with determination in the face of pandemic-fueled adversity that we handled 33.1 million tonnes, making 2020 the best year for the Port since the Port Authority was created in 1999. By handling this much cargo, the Port rose to third among Canadian ports, behind only Vancouver and Montreal. A 13% year-over-year increase in shipping volumes was primarily due to growth in iron ore shipments from Rio Tinto IOC and Tacora.

Unfortunately, the cruise industry suffered a severe downturn due to COVID‑19 as cruise activity was cancelled for all destinations across the country, a once-unthinkable scenario.

The Port also recorded great achievements throughout 2020 as it continued its environmental leadership on the St. Lawrence:

  • $500,000 in funding towards the creation of a research chair at the start of the year with Université Laval and INREST to study coastal ecosystems and port activity
  • $250,000 in funding towards the launch of the Centre for Industrial Port Expertise (CEIP) in July
  • Arrival of two scientific research missions in the Bay of Sept‑Îles on board the Amundsen and Corialis II research vessels.

This track record proves the Port’s unshakable commitment to protecting the invaluable bay ecosystem in Sept‑Îles, as well as a firm desire to ensure sustainable management of port operations by improving scientific knowledge via research activities. We proudly recall the remarks of Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, at the announcement of the research chair on coastal ecosystems and port activity at Université Laval:

“The creation of this research chair aligns perfectly with initiatives our government wants to see develop as a result of Quebec’s new maritime vision for 2035. This maritime vision, which is currently being developed, will help guide the government as it reconciles economic, social, and environmental progress in Quebec.”


Work on the $20 million Pointe‑aux‑Basques terminal upgrade project has proceeded smoothly and remained on time and on budget despite the brief pandemic-related work stoppage. Thanks to about 150 workers on site, about 90% of the work was completed by the end of the year. The new terminal, which is expected to be completed at the start of summer 2021, will enable the ship Bella Desgagnés to return to the terminal and provide service to the lower North Shore. Completion of the innovative $3 million modular service building at the multi-user dock will bring in the facilities needed to ensure effective and reliable ship loading operations.


2020 challenged us to find new ways of working and living, both professionally and in our personal lives. It showed our ability to innovate, adapt, and stay resilient in a situation that has lasted longer than anyone ever imagined. Despite all this, we managed to scale new heights together! We would like to sincerely thank all the Port’s board members and the entire team for their remarkable dedication throughout this exceptional year, which made our outstanding results possible. Finally, we’re pleased and proud to see how the actions we took to support families and other clients of many local organizations made a real difference. Our actions showed our commitment to our community and proved, now more than ever, that we are “Together, with you!”

Carol Soucy


Pierre D. Gagnon


In the company of Mr. Jean Caron, Chairman of Recyk et frip, Ms. Patsy Keays, Director Corporate Affairs and Corporate Secretary of the Port of Sept‑Îles, Ms. Maryse Gagnon, General Director of Recyk et frip.