Montreal, January 11, 2001 - "The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal regrets the premature departure of Lucien Bouchard, premier of Quebec," affirmed Normand Legault, president of the Board of Trade, today. "The Board of Trade appreciated the leadership of Mr. Bouchard, who was able to maintain a certain balance within the Quebec government.
"While his top cabinet ministers deserve much of the credit for these accomplishments, the Board of Trade notes that it was under the Bouchard government that Quebec eliminated its budget deficits and began to reduce its debt. This was also the first government in decades to demonstrate the courage necessary to streamline and modernize municipal political and administrative structures, particularly within the Greater Montreal region.
"The Board of Trade believes that the municipal reform will help to improve the leadership and competitiveness of Greater Montreal, giving more political weight to the metropolis within Quebec and Canada, to the benefit of all Montrealers.
"During his successive mandates, Mr. Bouchard was able to maintain a certain balance within the Quebec government by defending political values based on openness and respect for democracy, specifically with regard to the language debate.
"We wish him a successful career away from the trials and tribulations of public life," concluded Legault.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.