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The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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Canada needs a National Urban Strategy: Urban Chambers of Commerce

Montréal, QC, September 19, 2019 – At a news conference this morning in Halifax, the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) called on the campaigning federal parties to support the development of a National Urban Strategy to help cities build the infrastructure they need to support Canada’s economic competitiveness.

In the second playbook of its Agenda for Growth campaign, the CGCC—a national coalition of Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce in eight of Canada’s largest urban centres—makes the case that the economic competitiveness of our cities depends on the quality and capacity of urban, transport, trade, and digital infrastructure. The CGCC believes that sustained investment in Canada’s infrastructure is critical to the functioning of Canada’s economy and the cities that drive it.

“Modernizing our infrastructure is a massive undertaking that is essential to economic productivity, local business competitiveness and the quality of life of Canadians,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “The next Canadian government will need to show leadership and develop an ambitious infrastructure development plan that reflects the priorities of each province and their major cities. The plan should be accompanied by an agile financing strategy, fostering the contribution of the private sector. Progress has been made in recent years in upgrading our infrastructures, and it is important to keep up the momentum. This is why the next government needs to maintain the pace of investment as planned and finance new structuring projects.”

INFRASTRUCTURE RECOMMENDATIONS:

    1) To help Canadian cities build the infrastructure they need, the next government should IMPLEMENT THE CGCC’S NATIONAL URBAN STRATEGY which would:
    • Track and report on Canada’s infrastructure needs
    • Develop long-range priority plans
    • Fund the plan, not the project.

    2) Until a National Urban Strategy is created and city and city-regions have had time to develop their regional plans, the next federal government should INVEST IN PRIORITY INFRASTRUCTURE including:
    • Trade-enabling infrastructure
    • 5G deployment
    • Transit expansion and state of good repair
    • Climate-resilient infrastructure
    3) To ensure Canada can move forward on its priority infrastructure, the next federal government should BETTER LEVERAGE PRIVATE INVESTMENT by:
    • Strengthening the Canada Infrastructure Bank
    • Attracting private investment

“A National Urban Strategy, focusing on private and public investment in infrastructure, will accelerate Canada’s growth and improve our global competitiveness and quality of life,” said Patrick Sullivan, Vice-Chair, Canadian Global Cities Council and President & CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce. "Investment in infrastructure is essential for progress and pivotal to support the growth of Canada’s fast-growing cities. If you visited Halifax 20 years ago and then again this year, you might think you’ve come to the wrong city. The reason, amongst many things, is that Halifax has seen an infrastructure expansion. From the new Convention Centre, to the new state-of-the-art library, our city is planning for the future.”

“Infrastructure is the backbone of our nation’s economy, tying the country together and connecting us to the world. Whether its railways or roadways, ports or airports, tunnels or transit, investments in infrastructure drive economic prosperity and job creation,” said David Crawford, Interim CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “As Canada’s population grows, we need to continue to focus on moving people and goods efficiently through our metropolitan regions.”

Founded in 2015, CGCC members represent half of Canada’s GDP and population to champion national policies to build competitive and sustainable urban economies. Over the next three weeks, the CGCC will release a series of policy playbooks with clear recommendations for the campaigning federal parties to consider and the next government to adopt focused on issues that matter to businesses in Canada’s large metro regions.

For more details on the CGCC’s Infrastructure recommendations click here.

About the Canadian Global Cities Council:
Founded in 2015, the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) is a coalition of CEOs of eight of Canada’s largest urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade coast-to-coast: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Representing half of Canada’s GDP and population, the CGCC is a strong voice for national policies that build competitive and sustainable urban economies. For more information https://globalcitiescouncil.ca/.

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 7,500 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

For more information:
Julie Serero
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514-871-4000, ext. 4042
jserero@ccmm.ca

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