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Quebec City, December 15, 2009 – "The Quebec Government has announced an investment of $22.7 million and Hydro-Quebec has pledged $5 million for the construction of the Cité Verte in Quebec City. This shows Quebec’s avant-garde attitude toward sustainable development," says Mr. René Hamel, Chief Executive Officer of SSQ Financial Group, with pride.

Representing an investment of more than $300 million, the Cité Verte is an ambitious ecologically-responsible housing project initiated by SSQ Financial Group that is being managed by its subsidiary company SSQ Realty. More than 800 housing units will be built on a fantastic 93,000 m2 site in the Saint-Sacrement neighbourhood, at the corner of Chemin Sainte-Foy and Avenue Saint-Sacrement. The Cité Verte will create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.

"We would like to thank the Quebec Government and Hydro-Quebec for their financial support in this project, which will become a model for all of Quebec, the first showcase for green technologies in Eastern Canada. The site will provide an opportunity for us to develop new industrial expertise and will play a prominent role in bringing new technological knowledge to Quebec," says Mr. René Hamel.

A beacon for sustainable development

"This is the first big multiple-unit residential project in Quebec involving the construction of green, intelligent buildings. By integrating sustainable development and green technologies during the design phase, the Cité Verte will serve as a model that will have an impact on future building construction projects in Quebec," said Mr. Jean Morency, Chief Executive Officer of SSQ Realty Inc.

In fact, this large-scale building project will have a considerable positive impact on the environment. The Cité Verte will consume 30% less energy than conventional building projects. In addition, water consumption will be reduced by half, saving approximately 131 million litres of water per year, which is the equivalent of 52 Olympic pools.

"Through this important real estate project, we are introducing many solutions to some of today's environmental problems: urban densification, rainwater management, increased energy efficiency of buildings, selective recovery of waste, transportation management, and preservation of green space in order to reduce urban heat islands. It is clear that for SSQ Financial Group this is a visionary project that will allow us to protect the environment for future generations," concluded Mr. René Hamel.

SSQ Financial Group

With $2 billion in annual revenue and more than $4 billion in assets under management, SSQ Financial Group is a leading mutual diversified financial institution. The Group serves over one million clients and provides jobs to over 1,500 employees. SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc., the Group’s principal company, is recognized as a leader in the group insurance industry and as an expert in the investment and retirement sector. SSQ Financial Group is also a rising star in home and auto insurance (SSQ General Insurance Company Inc.) and realty management (SSQ Realty Inc.).

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For more information:
Élaine Dumais
Director – Corporate Communications
SSQ Financial Group
Telephone: 418-650-3457, ext. 6292
Cell phone: 418-955-7562


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