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Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec: increasing our attractiveness through pragmatic, diversified and consistent economic development policies

Montréal, September 18, 2013 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal presented its recommendations today as part of consultations conducted by Quebec’s commission on energy issues, the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec.

“The Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec is taking place at turning point,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The energy sector is changing. In spite of efforts in energy efficiency, demand will continue to grow for many years to come. Electricity surpluses, combined with the revolution in unconventional hydrocarbons in the United States, are changing Quebec’s energy landscape. A broad discussion on the issues is needed to take advantage of the opportunities that emerge from this new dynamic.”

“We have to be pragmatic to consolidate our role as energy leader,” Michel Leblanc said. “It is unrealistic to think that our economy can stop using fossil fuels in the short or medium term. This pragmatism should be combined with a diversification of our energy portfolio to meet the needs of a range of users. And while we are well positioned in the hydroelectricity sector, we need to develop other industries to ensure the vitality of our economic base. A stable, more economical supply of oil and natural gas, the development of new green technologies and additional efforts in energy efficiency will help increase our attractiveness for investors.”

“A new energy policy can only fulfill its role if it is structured around other government policies and strategies,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We need to put some thought into bringing the objectives of this policy in line with industrial policy, research and innovation policy and strategies for labour development.”

“As the economic driver of Quebec, the Greater Montréal area will benefit from a balanced energy policy that consolidates our assets and stimulates innovation,” Michel Leblanc said. “Head offices of major energy corporations, such as Hydro-Québec and Gaz Métro, play an important role as catalysts for our professional services sector. Major projects draw on the expertise of our engineering firms. The petrochemical sector in Eastern Montréal provides quality manufacturing jobs. And our universities and private research centres are seen as pioneers in developing new energy technologies.”

The Board of Trade’s recommendations for developing Quebec’s next energy policy follow three major principles:

  1. Pragmatism in developing the energy policy.
  2. Diversifying Quebec’s energy portfolio.
  3. Bringing the energy policy in line with other government policies and strategies.

The Board of Trade’s brief submitted to the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec can be consulted here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its 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.



Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
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