Strategic Forum on natural resources: a concrete demonstration
of the wealth of opportunities for the city
Montréal, April 20, 2012 – Today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held its Strategic Forum on natural resources, with Clément Gignac, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, and Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montréal, in attendance. Over 650 decision makers gathered to discuss the key issues and major projects in natural resources that are contributing to the city’s economic development and that will continue to do so in the years to come.
“The current context has brought the potential for wealth creation from the development of natural resources back to the fore,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “This is why the Board of Trade organized this first Strategic Forum on natural resources and, given the importance that this sector will be taking in the city’s economy, we are sure that it won’t be the last. Representatives from the mining, metals manufacturing, aluminum and forestry sectors demonstrated the vitality of their industries. The study that we released this week clearly shows that the natural resource sector will contribute estimated economic spin-offs of $51.8 billion to the city over the next 25 years.”
“The Plan Nord is testimony to the fact that the government has taken notice that this is the right time to exploit Québec’s natural resources,” Mr. Leblanc said. “It is now up to the city’s business community to get organized and mobilized to take full advantage of the resulting business opportunities. As Jacynthe Côté from Rio Tinto Alcan and Yves Laflamme from Resolute Forest Products showed, the presence of head offices is strategically important for the metropolitan area. Head offices foster the presence of important players upstream and downstream in the value chain of companies and put the city in a position of international leadership through connections between its knowledge economy and the natural resources economy.”
“If the city benefits, it will not be to the detriment of the regions,” Mr. Leblanc said. “This is not a zero-sum game, but rather a mutually profitable partnership between the resource regions and the economic heart of Québec. We saw that today with the Gaz Métro gas pipeline projects and the ArcelorMittal and Stornoway Diamond mining projects. These projects could not be brought to fruition without the presence of the resource and the contribution of the city, whether in terms of engineering, professional services, equipment manufacturing or other areas of expertise. As the mayors of Chibougamau and Baie-Comeau pointed out, if the regions are ambitious and attractive, the city must be equally so. The mayors extended a hand to the city’s businesses to support them in their growth. Furthermore, these projects cannot be completed without the openness and flexibility of developers, the First Nations and the Inuit from the early stages of projects, as Thierry Vandal from Hydro-Québec and John Paul Murdoch, legal advisor to the Grand Council of the Crees, explained.”
“Today’s event is a prime example of the ability of the city’s business community to mobilize for economic development and wealth creation,” Michel Leblanc said. “We are confident that we will be able to measure the progress we have made at the next Strategic Forum on natural resources one year from now.”
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
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 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.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015
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