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The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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514 871-4000


Strategic Forum on natural resources: a unique opportunity for wealth creation for Quebec and Montréal

Montréal, February 8, 2013 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held its Strategic Forum on natural resources today with Nicolas Marceau, Minister of Finance and the Economy, in attendance. Over 400 decision makers gathered to discuss major issues and projects in natural resources, to identify opportunities in this rapidly growing market and consolidate the city’s expertise.

“The potential spinoffs of the responsible and sustainable exploitation of our natural resources are critically important to the economy of Quebec and the city,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “We published two studies on natural resources that clearly show that this sector makes a major contribution to our economic base and is a vehicle for wealth creation. Today’s Strategic Forum proves that the business community is mobilized for all of society to benefit from the opportunities that arise.”

“The studies published by the Board of Trade and today’s event also respond to the need to rely on facts and not myths when discussing natural resources,” Michel Leblanc said. “For example, we show that contrary to the widely held belief, a great deal of metal processing occurs in Quebec and Montréal. This finding was supported by presentations by representatives of the Réseau de la transformation métallique du Québec and Minalliance.”

“The facts tell us that opportunities exist in sectors of the future, for which Quebec already offers optimal conditions, such as lithium and advanced forest technologies,” Michel Leblanc said. “Adopting processing quotas and protectionist measures hurts us more than helps us, because our processing companies need imported raw materials to operate at full capacity.”

“Innovation is at the heart of natural resource development and is essential for industry specialization and access to niche markets,” Michel Leblanc said. “Whether Rio Tinto Alcan’s AP60 technology or new products in the forestry industry that depend upon genomics and nanotechnology, we had a demonstration of how the knowledge economy and resource exploitation complement one another. The focus on innovation and advanced technologies highlights the strategic role of the city and its many educational institutions and research centres.”

“We welcome the Minister of Finance and the Economy’s announcement of the immediate initiation of consultations on the new mining regime,” Mr. Leblanc said. “A consultation paper will be made public on March 1, and the process will end with a forum on March 15. The Minister has committed to adopting the new regime quickly. Stakeholders agree on one important thing: the uncertainty that currently hangs over the mining, oil and natural gas sectors is hampering investment. The government needs to act quickly to clarify the rules of the game. Reducing uncertainty will help maximize the economic benefits of natural resource exploitation.”

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its 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.




Sylvie Paquette
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015


Twitter: @chambremontreal
Pour poursuivre la discussion: #ccmmqcca

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