French in the workplace:
Montréal's socioeconomic community joins forces to devise an action plan
Montréal, August 19, 2008 - The working committee of the Rendez-vous des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques began work today at its initial meeting, chaired by Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, and in the presence of Christine St-Pierre, minister of culture, communications, and the status of women and minister responsible for the Charter of the French Language, and Raymond Bachand, minister of economic development, innovation, and export trade and minister responsible for the Montréal region, along with some fifteen representatives of business and union associations.
The objective of this meeting was to share thoughts on the situation of French in the workplace in companies with fewer than fifty employees and to make concrete proposals on how to consolidate its use in preparation for the Rendez-vous des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques to be held in Montréal on October 10 and co-chaired by Jean Charest, premier of Quebec, and Isabelle Hudon.
I agreed to participate in this initiative because I wish to rally managers and employees around a strengthened resolve to promote the use of French in business environments. It's essential for companies with fewer than fifty employees to avoid being confronted with the implementation of new coercive measures. That's why I believe we must be proactive to ensure that, together, we not only keep doing what we are already doing well but also make additional efforts to do even more, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
I would also like to commend the committee on the fruitful work accomplished today. Our discussions indicate a common desire to make the Rendez-vous des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques a success, with the ultimate objective of ensuring that French continues to be a competitive advantage for our economy, explained Hudon.
The Comité des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques will meet again in the coming weeks to pursue its efforts to develop an action plan for consolidating the use of French in Montréal as the language of work, the language of service, the language of hospitality, and the language of signage. This meeting was announced in June by Minister St-Pierre.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015
List of members of the Working committee of the Rendez-vous des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques and photo: www.ccmm.qc.ca/photo-RVGA08
Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, chair of the Working committee, and co-chair of the Rendez-vous des gens d'affaires et des partenaires socioéconomiques
Daniel Audet, first vice-president
Conseil du patronat du Québec
Andrée Bélanger, general manager
Chambre de commerce de l'Ouest-de-l'Île de Montréal
Pierre Bellerose, vice-president, public relations, research and product development
Gordon Bernstein, chair of the board
Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent
Claudette Carbonneau, president
Confédération des syndicats nationaux
Georges Coulombe, president and secretary
Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal
Guy Hébert, president
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Saint-Laurent
Hans Janiak, president
Quebec Gay Chamber of Commerce
Francine Labelle, general manager
Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de l'Est de l'île de Montréal
Gaston Lafleur, president and CEO
Conseil québécois du commerce de détail
Jean Lefebvre, vice-president, government affairs
Conseil des chaînes de restaurants du Québec
Frédéric Michel, president
Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal
André Poulin, executive director
Simon Prévost, vice-president
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (Quebec)
Jean-Luc Trahan, president and general manager
Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters
Helen Tyros, president
Hellenic Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Nathalie Verge, vice-president, operations
Conseil québécois du commerce de détail