The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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REM: The business community reiterates its support and asks the government to stay the course

Montréal, January 20, 2017 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has read the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement’s (BAPE) conclusions withholding approval for the CDPQ Infra’s Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM). It reiterates that the project is in Montréal’s economic interest. The BAPE’s expanded analysis sets a problematic precedent and casts a shadow over the organization’s legitimacy.

“The REM will usher the city into the 21st century,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “The business community has wholeheartedly supported it since it was announced. The REM is a concrete, rapid solution to the problem of traffic in the metropolitan area. It will serve key sectors, such as Montréal-Trudeau Airport and downtown. The REM responds to very real, glaring needs.”

“It is impossible to carry out a project of this scope without any environmental impact,” Mr. Leblanc said. “On this note, the Chamber is pleased to see that the BAPE’s conclusions raise no major environmental obstacles to the project.”

“The role of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement is to look into issues related to the sustainable development of projects submitted to it, which includes understanding the economic impact,” Michel Leblanc said. “However, the BAPE clearly overstepped its mandate in looking at issues that relate to the CDPQ Infra’s business model and risk. It is up to the government to gather all information to make an informed decision. The situation today raises concerns and calls into question the institution’s legitimacy.”

“A major delay in the project will have an impact on the economy and on traffic, at a time when the cost of congestion is an estimated $1.8 billion annually,” Mr. Leblanc said. “From an environmental perspective, greenhouse gas emissions associated with solo vehicle use will continue to rise as long as the REM is not operational. Real estate development projects along the REM line will also be affected by these delays. It is essential that everything be done to stick to CDPQ Infra’s proposed schedule.”

The CCMM submitted a brief as part of BAPE hearings in September 2016. It can be consulted here

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 7,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (formerly known as Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal) is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

 

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Source:
Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
gberube@ccmm.ca

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