Day One of the Symposium
Montreal 2017: A 375-Year-Old City of the World
Montreal, April 30, 2002 - Today marked the beginning of the symposium entitled Montreal 2017: A 375-Year-Old City of the World organized by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in collaboration with the Quebec Ministry of Metropolitan Affairs and Greater Montreal. In order to better understand the issues that characterize the new landscape of Greater Montreal, the Board of Trade is inviting its some 250 participants to listen to and exchange their views with experts from Montreal, Canada and around the world on what a metropolis like Montreal could and should do in the next 15 years to ensure its rightful place on the world stage.
A common theme pervaded the first speech and ensuing workshops: the urgent and strategic need to ensure coherent decision-making. Any public or private initiative affecting Greater Montreal's development must be subject to a coherent process to ensure the City's stable and sustainable development.
Used as a starting point for the symposium, the Picard Report was also a catalyst for Montreal's revival after the economic crisis of the early 80s. Laurent Picard, who headed the consultation process that led to this report, took us back 15 years to help us better envision the next 15 years. Several Montreal figures, including Mario Polèse, Claude Pichette and Pierre Laferrière, respectively from the academic, institutional and business communities, then discussed the changes that Montreal has undergone as well as those that should have taken place.
Not only Montreal has changed: all the cities of the world are undergoing profound changes, beginning with the international context in which they are evolving. In this regard, Kimon Valaskakis, a globalization expert, presented the challenges and opportunities that this phenomenon presents to the cities of the world.
And because Montreal aspires to international recognition and must ensure its competitiveness, the Board of Trade invited representatives from the Lyon, France, to come share the experience of their city, which has now distinguished itself by adopting a proactive positioning strategy. During the symposium's business luncheon, Patrick Lusson, the head of the Grand Lyon mission, gave a very interesting talk on the urban phenomenon spawning large urban centres that are becoming new economic power houses, with rich artistic, cultural and intellectual development. His statements provided food for thoughtindeed, that not every city is destined for such a future, hence the urgency for Montreal to assume its rightful place in this group of international cities.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.