The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

3 good reasons to make Montréal the home of the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal believes that Montréal is the ideal Canadian city to be home to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). Its economic ecosystem has the concentration of expertise needed to help this new institution get off the ground quickly and become an international model for best practices.

Montréal has what it takes to be the national centre of infrastructure excellence. Here are three reasons for establishing the CIB in the city:

1. The vitality of Montréal’s financial ecosystem

The city’s banking system has earned a global reputation for strength and stability. Its financial sector is showing pronounced growth and vitality, attracting an increasing number of companies. Greater Montréal has over 3,000 finance firms and a pool of seasoned, experienced talent that includes over 25,000 financial specialists, for a total of almost 100,000 employees in finance.

Even more importantly, Montréal has unique expertise in the country in terms of financing infrastructure projects. In 2015, National Bank was the Canadian bank that financed the largest number of infrastructure projects in the country.

The city has also earned an international reputation in pension funds. This is in part due to the presence of the head offices of the two largest institutional investors worldwide: PSP Investments and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). These institutions are catalysts for economic growth. By opening its doors in the heart of this ecosystem, the CIB will benefit directly from this expertise and the potential for synergy.

2. Concentrated expertise in engineering and major projects in Montréal

Montréal is the leading centre of infrastructure expertise in Canada, thanks to major engineering firms such as SNC-Lavalin and WSP, and its universities. The city’s pool of expertise will allow the CIB to become operational quickly and achieve its objective of attracting top talent, making it a world-class centre in infrastructure. A number of large corporations involved in major infrastructure projects have their head office in Montréal, such as VIA Rail, CN, Hydro-Québec, ADM, the Port of Montreal, Bombardier Transportation and Bombardier Aerospace.

Greater Montréal is also the North American metropolitan area with the most university students per capita. The city is the university capital of Canada, with 11 institutions of higher learning that have over 155,000 students. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 12,000 undergraduates in engineering graduated from ÉTS, Polytechnique, McGill and Concordia.   

The talented professionals concentrated in Greater Montréal are multilingual (over 80 languages spoken), which is an asset for serving Canada and attracting potential investors and partners, particularly with the signature of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

3. Trade infrastructures nearby

The government’s plan assumes that trade infrastructures are strategic and a priority. Montréal is already a hub for transportation and logistics for Canada and North America. The confirmed entry into effect of the CETA should help reinforce the city’s strategic position and increase the quality of merchandise transiting through it.

To ensure the success of this structuring centre of expertise responsible for major infrastructure projects in Canada, we ask the government to make Montréal home to the CIB.

The Chamber invites you to be part of the discussion via our social media accounts using hashtag #BICàMTL

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