Quebec call centre says it will bring 100 jobs to Summerside

Colin MacLean
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Summerside Mayor Bill Martin chatting with Elie Chebli, CEO of IO Solutions. The call centre service company is moving more than 100 jobs into the city over the next two years.

The province has approved the company for a labour rebate

Montreal-based call centre company IO Solutions has struck a deal with the City of Summerside to bring more than 100 jobs to the community.

It involves the city taking over ownership of 54 Central Street (the old Co-op building), renovating it with a $990,000 grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and then renting it to IO Solutions. The city is also buying a small nearby parking lot, next to the former Guardian office on Central Street, to provide extra parking for the tenants.

The province has approved the company for a labour rebate for up to 100 positions, through Innovation P.E.I., to the tune of $810,359. The province has also provided $28,000 to the city to help with architectural and design costs for the renovations.

Mayor Bill Martin formally welcomed the company, and its CEO, Elie Chebli, to the city on Thursday.  

“It’s just an exciting day. Certainly the best day I’ve had in 16 months,” said Martin, referring to his time in office.  

Chebli said the company would start vetting resumes very soon. They have a starting goal of 100 hires, though that number could increase to upwards of 200 within a couple of years.

IO Solutions also has an office in Bloomfield that employs 103 people.

Chebli reassured those employees that their jobs will not be impacted by the expansion into Summerside.

“We have great people in Bloomfield and we are going to continue to expand the Bloomfield site,” he said.

He said the decision was made to open a second office because they’ve been having trouble finding enough workers in the Bloomfield area to keep up with their demand for new hires.

The two sites will work together on the same contracts, providing customer support for several national telecom companies, and will have the same regional manager.

“I hope to find enough employees. They tell me we can even find some bilingual people, so that’s going to be great,” said Chebli.

The city expects to start work on the Summerside building within the next couple of weeks and the tenant is expecting to move in by late spring. The two current tenants in the building will not be displaced.


Organizations: IO Solutions, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Geographic location: Summerside, 54 Central Street, Bloomfield Quebec Montreal

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Recent comments

    March 18, 2016 - 10:13

    Is the $990,000 grant from ACOA for renovations only, or does it include the cost to buy the building?

  • de udder guy
    March 18, 2016 - 08:33

    Is this groundhog day all over again? The same old tired transient companies coming to PEI making the same old inflated, tired promises of expected jos that never materialize. Buckets of money that could have gone to Island business to expand, renovate or provide new business opportunities. But unless you already work for the folks that give out government money, nobody on PEI is deemed smart enough to do that. You have to come from away with a nice briefcase and the cash is yours. Always.

  • Quiet Observer
    March 18, 2016 - 08:21

    Another 100 minimum wage jobs. And now the Feds going to allow employers to bring in more Temperary Foreign Workers to enable the seasonal employers to drive wages down to minimum wage again. And our Premier wants us to be optimistic and positive - Mr. Premier, give us a resaon to be.

  • Joe Doe
    March 17, 2016 - 22:53


  • Curious
    March 17, 2016 - 21:48

    Why does this Montreal-based company claim on its website ( that their head office is in Bloomfield, PEI? There was some talk years ago that IO might eventually move their head office here. Has it actually moved or in name only, and did taxpayers pay IO any bonus for this "move"?

    March 17, 2016 - 21:12

    This is great. So far according to the figures it will cost the taxpayers $1,828.000.00. Isn't it wonderful how word gets around the businesses of other provinces to go to PEI for free money.