Three priority areas of action for the next Parliament of Canada

    MONTREAL, Sept. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Within the context of the current
federal election campaign, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal would
like to remind the various parties of three areas of action vital to ensuring
the growth and prosperity of Canada and its urban centres. These are areas
requiring fast action from the next government and that deserve the support of
the opposition parties.

    1. TALENT

    "Given today's global economic environment, Canadian companies - whatever
their sector of activity - can't hope to succeed without being competitive
and, above all, leading edge. Their ability to set themselves apart in the
marketplace - whether through originality, quality, productivity, or
innovation - is based first and foremost on the talent of their human
resources; that's why it's vital for Canada to train, attract, and retain
talent," declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of
Metropolitan Montreal.
    This objective can be pursued in these ways:

    - to train talent, we must improve the financing of our higher education
      system in terms of both teaching and research;
    - to attract and retain talent, we must provide stronger, on-going
      support to the cultural sector - and particularly creators - to make
      our cities more attractive and stimulating places to live and work.


    "Eighty percent of Canadians live in urban zones, with more than 40
percent concentrated in the country's five largest metropolitan areas. The
role played by its major cities in promoting Canada's economic prosperity is
thus crucial, and we must pay particular attention to their needs, targeting
specific actions for their benefit," continued Hudon.
    Among the most important of these, in the Board of Trade's opinion, are
the following:

    - for each major Canadian city, we must make substantial investments in
      the renewal and development of high-quality infrastructure,
      predominantly in the area of public transit;
    - for Montréal, the Canadian government must be actively involved in the
      realization of urban projects that will significantly enhance the
      city's appeal: the revitalization of the harbour front and the
      completion of development projects in the Quartier des spectacles and
      the Old Port.


    "Throughout the country - and particularly in major centres -, Canadian
talent is highlighted through the creation of new companies. Entrepreneurship
and the SMEs that result from it are signs of economic health and our ability
to seize new business opportunities and make the most of them. It is this raw
creative energy that will generate future champions - the SMEs that growth and
success will transform into Canadian multinationals," concluded Hudon.
    For this reason, Canada must cultivate and promote entrepreneurship
through actions that:

    - target primarily companies with the potential and ambition to become
      major corporations;
    - use tax levers to increase the availability of venture capital for all
      phases of business development, including start-up and marketing.

    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 local 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.

For further information:

For further information: Sylvie Paquette, Coordinator, Media relations,
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015,

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