Promoting Sustainable Economic Development - Successful cooperation to retain
specialized foreign workers contributing to Greater Montréal's

MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The concerted efforts of the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (MICC), the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal, and Montréal International (MI) have allowed the region to retain more than 500 highly skilled foreign workers over the past year, thereby helping boost the economic competitiveness of Greater Montréal. These results were publicized today during a press conference. A new website dedicated to encouraging foreign skilled workers to settle permanently in the metropolitan region was also launched:

"Due to the growing demand from companies and institutions in Québec for specialized labour, our Government has, with the help of our partners, implemented initiatives to attract and retain foreign skilled workers. We have given Montréal International, in collaboration with the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal, the mandate to promote permanent residency among foreign skilled workers in Greater Montréal," emphasized Ms. Yolande James, the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities. "The expertise and talent that these skilled workers bring to the metropolitan region on a permanent basis is strategically important to the competitiveness of Greater Montréal's and Québec's economy," added the Minister.

These skilled, highly mobile workers add enormous potential to Montréal's development. "Not only is the availability of such labour in itself an engine of economic growth by its direct impact on productivity, but more than that, and even more so in the future, it will be a determining factor for companies deciding to locate here and for attracting foreign investment," declared Mr. Richard Deschamps, Vice President of the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal.

The metropolitan region has much to offer to foreign skilled workers, both in terms of career opportunities and quality of life. The actions Montréal International has taken to increase the retention of foreign skilled labour in Metropolitan Montréal lie at the very heart of its economic development mission for Greater Montréal.

"The results announced today are the fruit of a long-standing partnership between Montréal International, the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities, and the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal," underscored the Acting President and CEO of Montréal International, Mr. Luc Lacharité.

About the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities

Among the initiatives launched by the Government of Québec to boost economic development, the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities has special responsibility for recruiting and sustainably implanting talent from wherever it originates, that meets the needs of the labour market and contributes to the growth and development of Québec society.

In concrete terms, over the past year three new fast tracks have been opened to:

      - Speed up the arrival in Québec of workers in demand ;
      - Facilitate the permanent immigration of foreign graduate students
        into Québec ;
      - Facilitate the permanent immigration of specialized temporary workers
        already employed in Québec.

About the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal

The Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal brings together the political and socioeconomic leaders of the Island of Montréal. Its mandate is to promote its territory's development through dialogue and to act as the Government's representative in regional development affairs.

About Montréal International

Montréal International (MI) was created in 1996 as a result of a private/public partnership. Its mission is to contribute to the economic development of metropolitan Montréal and to enhance its international status. Its mandates include attracting foreign investment, international organizations and qualified workers, supporting the development of innovation and metropolitan clusters, and promoting the competitive and international environment of Greater Montréal. Montréal International is funded by the private sector, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Montréal Metropolitan Community), the City of Montréal and the Governments of Canada and Québec.

Since its creation, Montréal International has helped to attract more than $7 billion in foreign investment to Greater Montréal. From these investments, more than 40 000 jobs have been created or maintained. To date, MI's activities have also allowed more than 25 international organizations to establish themselves in the city and attract more than 3 000 qualified foreign workers. To learn more, please visit MI Web site at:

SOURCE Montréal International

For further information: For further information: Claude Fradette, Department of Public Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities, (514) 940-1630; Yvan Thériault, Director of Planning and Communications, CRÉ de Montréal, (514) 842-2400 poste 2813,; Benoît Lefèvre, Communications Advisor, Montréal International, (514) 987-9323,; Source: Luc Fortin, Press attaché, Office of the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, (514) 873-9940

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