The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
welcomes the federal government's
announcement of additional funding for public transit
Montreal, June 1, 2005 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal applauds today's announcement by the Government of Canada that it will invest up to $800 million in public transit over two years as part of the New Deal for Cities and Communities.
The announcement of this additional investment in public transit, some $189 million of which will be earmarked for Quebec, is excellent news, particularly because it involves funding separate from that coming from the federal gasoline tax, stated Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. This decision demonstrates that the Government of Canada appreciates the urgency of investing in this key aspect of our competitiveness. We wish to emphasize how important it is that these monies be allocated according to public transit ridership.
The Board of Trade firmly believes that public transit is not only a driving force in the development of the metropolitan region of Montreal the economic engine of Quebec but that as component of sustainable urban development, it also makes a positive contribution to our quality of life, added Ms. Hudon . The economic benefits generated by public transit are many and varied. For example, in 2003, public transit saved Montreal households almost $600 million in commuting costs. These benefits translate into increased buying power for our citizens, allowing them to spend more on goods and services and on cultural and leisure activities. As a result, the economic spin-offs for the region are double what they would be if Montrealers spent this money driving their cars, and this in turn is good news for local merchants and manufacturers. However, beyond its contribution to reduced travel costs, public transit also contributes to increased business in the commercial and tourist poles, expands the pool of employees for the industrial poles, and facilitates travel to the academic poles, concluded Ms. Hudon. And of course, public transit plays an essential role in the success of our major sports and cultural events.
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 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