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The Creation of the Société générale de financement (SGF - general investment corporation)
"Through the SGF, our people will be able to begin their own economic liberation" (translation).
Jean Lesage at the Legislative Assembly on June 26, 1962, quoted in Jacques Lacoursière's Histoire populaire du Québec, Volume 5: 1960 to 1970, Sillery, Septentrion, 2008, p. 55.
A harsh reality had to be faced in the 1960s: between 5% and 20% of the Quebec economy belonged to French Quebecers; the rest, a minimum of at least 80%, (and possibly more), was in the hands of English Canadian and American corporations. The Liberal Party in power intended to rectify this situation. Indeed, during a speech pronounced in March 1961, Premier Jean Lesage affirmed that "economic colonialism was no longer acceptable for Quebecers" (translation). The solution advanced by the government was the creation of the Société générale de financement (SGF) in 1962. It would be a mixed corporation combining funds originating from the state, financial institutions and taxpayers. Its mission would consist of supporting Quebec businesses experiencing difficulties and diversifying Quebec's industrial production base. In addition to acquiring corporate stock, the SGF could obtain bonds from other levels of government and organizations (school boards, for example) and resell them. In short, the SGF was to act as the financial arm of the Government of Quebec and mitigate Quebec's dependence on foreign capital.