Three priority areas of action for the next Parliament of Canada
Montréal, September 18, 2008 Within the context of the current federal election campaign, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal would like to remind the various parties of three areas of action vital to ensuring the growth and prosperity of Canada and its urban centres. These are areas requiring fast action from the next government and that deserve the support of the opposition parties.
Given today's global economic environment, Canadian companies whatever their sector of activity can't hope to succeed without being competitive and, above all, leading edge. Their ability to set themselves apart in the marketplace whether through originality, quality, productivity, or innovation is based first and foremost on the talent of their human resources; that's why it's vital for Canada to train, attract, and retain talent, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
This objective can be pursued in these ways:
- to train talent, we must improve the financing of our higher education system in terms of both teaching and research;
- to attract and retain talent, we must provide stronger, on-going support to the cultural sector and particularly creators to make our cities more attractive and stimulating places to live and work.
2. URBAN CENTRES
Eighty percent of Canadians live in urban zones, with more than 40 percent concentrated in the country's five largest metropolitan areas. The role played by its major cities in promoting Canada's economic prosperity is thus crucial, and we must pay particular attention to their needs, targeting specific actions for their benefit, continued Hudon.
Among the most important of these, in the Board of Trade's opinion, are the following:
- for each major Canadian city, we must make substantial investments in the renewal and development of high-quality infrastructure, predominantly in the area of public transit;
- for Montréal, the Canadian government must be actively involved in the realization of urban projects that will significantly enhance the city's appeal: the revitalization of the harbour front and the completion of development projects in the Quartier des spectacles and the Old Port.
Throughout the country and particularly in major centres , Canadian talent is highlighted through the creation of new companies. Entrepreneurship and the SMEs that result from it are signs of economic health and our ability to seize new business opportunities and make the most of them. It is
this raw creative energy that will generate future champions the SMEs that growth and success will transform into Canadian multinationals, concluded Hudon.
For this reason, Canada must cultivate and promote entrepreneurship through actions that:
- target primarily companies with the potential and ambition to become major corporations;
- use tax levers to increase the availability of venture capital for all phases of business development, including start-up and marketing.
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 Montréal 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