The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Main takeaways from Mitch Garber’s talk at the Chamber

Mitch Garber, a leader and strong voice of the Montréal business community, visited the Chamber this past October 17. The businessman came to speak to us about partisan politics, and about the future of both the city and the province in general during this electoral period.

Here are some key points to remember from his talk at the Chamber.

A positive and inspiring appraisal for the city

Mitch Garber came to present his vision for Montréal and for Québec as a whole. He believes the province has no cause to be envious of others—quite the contrary! In fact, the potential for growth and economic development in Montréal and Québec is quite strong. For instance:

  • The province’s credit rating is higher than that of Ontario for the first time since 1966
  • The unemployment rate is at a record low of 6%
  • The level of satisfaction with the business environment is at 72% among SMEs
  • In a short period of time, Montréal has become one of the world’s most important centres for artificial intelligence
  • The city is seeing a significant increase in foreign direct investment
  • A number of direct flight routes have been added, confirming Montréal’s status as an international hub.

The former “dragon” also reminded us that, in addition to sound economic health, Quebecers also benefit from good political representation in the Trudeau government. It’s an ideal situation, and our businesses and governments should be thinking big.

Three challenges that must be met for the city’s future

However, Mitch Garber also identified three main challenges that must be met in the coming years and for the upcoming elections, both at the municipal and provincial levels:

  • The province’s high rate of school dropouts—“the highest in the country”
  • The average household income in Québec, which remains the lowest
  • The complexity of the Québec health care system, which—despite its imperfections—remains a great asset for our citizens.

Garber believes that Montréal’s economic momentum is building and that we must take advantage of this favourable context to resolve these issues while investing to ensure our future prosperity. He says we should focus on education and on health, and that training our new generations of today will guarantee the future of the city and the province of tomorrow.

A recommendation: stay focused on real issues and prevent political extremism

Mitch Garber also stressed the importance of being politically mature and media savvy to avoid falling into the trap of “fake news.” He reached out directly to the two main candidates in the race for mayor—Denis Coderre, current mayor of Montréal, and Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal—by stating that open and intelligent debate demonstrates our society’s strengths. He also addressed the Montréal business community directly, as he believes our leaders’ voices are indispensable to drawing attention to certain issues society is facing.

In short, the outlook for the province and for Montréal is very positive. Despite the challenges raised, the city can be proud of its reputation here in Québec, in Canada, and abroad.

Read Mitch Garber’s speech at the Chamber

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