The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal congratulates
the new government and recalls the challenges facing Montreal
Montreal, January 24, 2006 On behalf of the Greater Montreal business community, Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, has congratulated Mr. Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, on his election victory and sent him its best wishes for success. At the same time, Ms. Hudon also stressed the many major challenges facing Montreal and its crucial role in promoting the development and prosperity of Quebec and Canada.
Quebec's metropolis plays a leading role in Canada, declared Hudon. Montreal ranks second among Canadian urban centres in terms of both population size and gross domestic product. Moreover, Montreal is one of the six major metropolitan areas that, together, are home to almost 45% of the country's population and generate almost 45% of Canadian wealth.
In today's increasingly competitive global economy, Canada still faces significant challenges if it is to make its mark on the international stage and become one of the most innovative countries in the world. For the Board of Trade, the training, attraction, and retention of talent are significant issues requiring the contributions of all Canadian stakeholders. Keeping a skilled labour force here in Canada is all the more important given that, in less than ten years, the net growth of the country's labour force will depend entirely on immigration. There is thus no doubt that any measure aiming to integrate immigrants faster and more easily into the labour force would be highly desirable, explained Hudon.
In addition to this priority issue, the financing of urban infrastructures and the improvement of the financial situation of cities are, we believe, equally critical to the full and healthy development of Canada's urban centres the engines of our economy. From this perspective, we support the initiatives proposed in Mr. Harper's electoral platform aiming to expand Canada's national infrastructure. We also hope that Canada's largest cities will soon receive the funding they need to shoulder their growing responsibilities, continued Hudon.
In accordance with its tradition of contributing to government thinking on the development of tax measures, the Board of Trade will soon send the new government all of its pre-budget recommendations.
We are convinced that the success of this government will depend on building a strong consensus both inside and outside Parliament. We will therefore continue to rigorously assume our responsibility to share with Mr. Harper and his colleagues across the country the aspirations and solutions favoured by the metropolitan Montreal business community, concluded Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community for the greater Montreal area and to offer a full range of specialized services to individuals, merchants and companies of all sizes so as to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015