OTTAWA, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive
Officer of GE Canada, announced the launch of an initiative to gain
greater insight into shaping the growth of Canada's remote community
economies and the decisions being made by global and national
businesses to invest in these communities.
Joined by Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Allan posed the question "What is the enabling infrastructure that will engage Canada's remote
communities in the 21st century economy?" to dozens of business leaders in Ottawa.
As Canada seeks to strengthen its position as a competitive nation in an
increasingly global economy, GE Canada is undertaking this initiative
to place a business lens on the economic opportunities, challenges,
best practices and business investment intentions in remote
"The ideas that this project will generate aren't going to determine whether Canada's remote communities thrive or fail in the future: there is no
end of evidence that many of Canada's remote communities are well
positioned in the changing world economy," stated Elyse Allan,
President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Canada. "We hope instead to
work with others to find the best ways to accelerate and shape that
growth for national advantage," she concluded.
With global demand for natural resources increasing - driven by
developing economies - Canada's remote communities are among the
brightest spots in our economy today, and will play an even greater
role in worldwide economic development.
"The economic potential of remote communities is very much on the minds
of Canada's businesses, community stakeholders and various levels of
government," said Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "That one of Canada's largest
corporations and a Canadian Chamber member is undertaking an initiative
that engages some of the country's smallest businesses - also Canadian
Chamber members directly or through their local chamber - is a
testament to the reach and relevancy of the Canadian Chamber to
economic policy discussions in Canada."
Most of Canada's natural resources - our oil and natural gas, our metals
and minerals, our forests and hydroelectric sites, and other untapped
resources - are in remote areas.
GE Canada is conducting a series of cross-country roundtables over the
next two months to generate a dialogue between Canada's remote
communities, business leaders and government to discuss specific
opportunities and barriers to entry in these communities.
The initiative includes a targeted questionnaire sent to hundreds of
business leaders across the country to gather never-before collected
data on business operations and investment intentions in remote
The Canadian Chamber will utilize the material and incorporate the
outcomes of the initiative into a policy paper to be launched later
"As Canada's Industry Minister, I can tell you that a strong national
economy is built on strong local economies. Today more than ever,
Canada's resource-rich remote communities have great potential for
growth, so it is indeed timely that GE and the Canadian Chamber have
teamed up to explore the best ways to maximize that potential."
"The forest products industry is already a cornerstone for rural Canada,
providing 240,000 direct jobs, and representing the economic heart of
200 communities across the country. There is now a resource renaissance
on the near horizon with growing demand in the marketplace as the
global population increases and incomes in the developing world go up.
Infrastructure investment is critical to growing and maintaining the
communities sustained by our industry and leveraging the opportunities
presented for growth by the bio-age."
Avirm Lazar, President and CEO
Forest Products Association of Canada
"In the same way it helped build competitive advantage for commerce and
communities across Canada, rail will be an essential component
providing access to national and international markets as more
resources become economically exploitable in the remote locations."
Bruce R. Burrows, Vice President, Public and Corporate Affairs
The Railway Association of Canada
"A top challenge all communities in Canada face, particularly in remote
areas, is ensuring there is a sustained, long-term strategy for
upgrading and maintaining key physical infrastructure that is the
life-blood of a community's economic and social well-being."
President, Canadian Construction Association
"Remote communities are important to Canada because of our geography and
the diversity of our economy. One of the most important things that
modern information technology infrastructure can do is to remove the
factor of distance to allow Canadians in remote communities to fully
participate in today's economy and society."
Bernard A. Courtois, President and Chief Executive Officer
Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
"Mining is critical to Canada's economy. Modern, reliable, and
efficient infrastructure is essential to mining. Canada's mining
industry has, and will continue to make, a major contribution in this
regard but needs governments and other businesses as its partners in
completing the economic development picture in these regions."
Paul Stothart, Vice-President, Economic Affairs
Mining Association of Canada
SOURCE General Electric Canada Inc.
For further information:
|GE Canada |
VP Communications/Public Affairs
| || || || || ||CanadianChamber of Commerce|
Emilie S. Potvin
Director, Public Affairs