CTMA is a symbol of island determination and character typical of the Îles de la Madeleine community. This local coopérative has undergone many changes over the years and has carved out a leading role in the shipping industry in Quebec and Canada.
Islanders with determination
In the 1940s, the Îles de la Madeleine community, which then consisted primarily of fishermen, faced a growing problem: a serious lack of adequate shipping services. There was only one weekly crossing to the Maritimes and one sailing every 15 days to Quebec City and Montreal. It was very difficult to obtain supplies of commodities and goods as well as export products from the sea.
Birth of a large cooperative
A group of determined Îles de la Madeleine residents pooled their efforts to provide the Islands with shipping service tailored to their needs. At a time when several cooperative movements were taking root in the Islands, the Coopérative de Transport Maritime et Aérien (CTMA) was founded on May 28, 1944. The people of the Islands quickly supported the project by purchasing shares. The air service, however, was never developed. Since that founding, shareholders in the venture have consistently made the common public interest a priority and that has ensured sustainability of the cooperative.
A driving for the economy
Through many innovations over more than 75 years, CTMA has become a driving force of the Îles de la Madeleine economy and makes a significant contribution to tourism development. Under private legislation passed in 2010, CTMA continues to maintain its status as a cooperative, thereby perpetuating a strong link with the people of the Islands. With more than 500 employees, the coopérative is fully owned, managed and operated by islanders.s.