Canada's new Government invests in the future of the Old Port of Montreal Corporation

    MONTREAL, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, together with the
Honourable Michael Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services,
today announced Canada's New Government's commitment to support the Old Port
of Montreal Corporation (OPMC). The Government will provide the Corporation
with $94 million over five years to fund its operations and $35 million will
be invested over five years to maintain the infrastructure at the site.
    "I am pleased to announce our new Government's support of the Old Port of
Montreal Corporation," said Minister Cannon. "We are enabling an exceptional
part of Montreal to be more attractive, which will drive tourism. We encourage
the Corporation to continue to be creative, to the benefit of Montrealers and
    "Together, Minister Cannon and I are delivering results for Montreal as
well as better planning capabilities to enhance tourism and attract families.
The Old Port is a high quality, vibrant sector of this truly great city. Its
culture brings vitality to the community and that's what makes it a place to
be now and for the future," added Minister Fortier.
    For more than 20 years, the Corporation has been without a stable source
of funding. This funding is a concrete step in the Government's commitment to
improving the maintenance and management of the Old Port on behalf of all
    "This important contribution from the Government of Canada is a
recognition of the role the Corporation has played in the economic development
of Montreal, and provides the tools and financial resources to carry out its
mission," said Mr. Bernard Roy, chair of the board of directors of OPMC.

    The OPMC was created in 1981 to develop and promote the Old Port of
Montreal site, which encompasses 472,857 square metres (5,111,320 square
feet). The site itself is currently under the custody of Public Works and
Government Services Canada. The property consists of a promenade that is
2.7 kilometres long by 100 metres wide, with green spaces, four piers, locks
1 and 2 of the Lachine Canal, and hangars and buildings housing various
activities, including the Montreal Science Centre.
    The Corporation plays a major role in the social, cultural, scientific
and economic life of Montreal. With more than six million visitors annually
and more than $71 million derived annually from indirect business activity,
the Old Port of Montreal is among the most popular tourist attractions in
Canada and has contributed to the redevelopment of the Old Montreal historical
area as a unique urban milieu.



    The Old Port of Montreal Corporation (OPMC) was established in 1981 to
develop and promote the Old Port site. The Corporation participates actively
in Montreal's economic development by providing cultural, recreational and
tourist products and services of high quality. The Old Port is a key component
of the revitalization of the historic quarter and waterfront, and it provides
a major federal presence in downtown Montreal. It is one of the most popular
tourist attractions in Canada, receiving over 6 million visitors a year and
accounting for over $71 million in indirect economic benefits.
    The Old Port is a federal property of 47.3 hectares, which encompasses
472,857 square metres (5,111,320 square feet) - stretching 2.7 km along the
St. Lawrence River, bordering on Old Montreal and the downtown.
    The Quays of the Old Port include piers in the eastern and western sectors
as well as the esplanade and promenade. Together these form an urban park with
marine, historic and port features. The Quays have a year-round schedule of
events, and thanks to the efforts of the OPMC, this park is now one of the
world's great historic ports.
    The Montreal Science Centre on the King Edward Quay is noted for its
interactive approach to science and technology and its emphasis on local
innovation and know-how. Its innovative focus has made it a scientific and
cultural reference point for educators and the general public.
    The government's objectives for the OPMC are:

    - protect and promote Canada's cultural heritage;
    - improve urban living conditions and improve public access to the
    - contribute to regional economic development efforts;
    - maintain port functions which are appropriate to an urban, historic

    Ever since it was founded, the OPMC has been noted for the quality of its
work, which has been recognized by numerous national and international prizes
and awards. The Corporation was one of the first Quebec enterprises to receive
the Qualité Tourisme certification from Tourisme Québec, in the category of
tourist attractions and events. The certification, which was awarded in 2005,
pertains to all of the Corporation's activities and employees and covers
service delivery, equipment, human resources, safety, and respect for the
natural and human environment.

                                                                   April 2007

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Frédéric Baril, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Public
Works and Government Services, Ottawa, (613) 943-4593; Lily Robert, Director
of Communications, Old Port of Montreal Corporation, (514) 496-2041; Transport
Canada is online at Subscribe to news releases and speeches at and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport
Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.

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