Montréal, April 25, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held the fifth edition of its Strategic Forum on transportation networks today. More than 300 decision makers gathered to discuss the city’s challenges and major projects in transportation.
“The city has started dealing with the significant challenge of maintaining and developing its transportation infrastructures,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The projects discussed today are needed to improve the flow of people and merchandise. However, the precarious nature of public finances means that we need to set priorities, based on an informed discussion and conclusive data.”
“Given the context, the presentations on implementing light rail transit (LRT) on the future Champlain Bridge gave us a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of this system of transportation,” Michel Leblanc said. “If we go ahead with LRT, the question of cost remains a concern, given the limited budget.”
“Discussions also addressed the spinoffs of the expected recovery in the United States and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe,” Mr. Leblanc said. “It is up to us to ensure that CargoM, Montréal’s logistics and transportation cluster, reinforces the city’s position in global supply chains. We will also watch with interest the implementation of the new government’s Maritime Strategy, which, we hope, will help create a business environment conducive to private investment in this area.”
“Furthermore, the transportation sector remains one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and innovative solutions are needed as soon as possible,” Michel Leblanc said. “The solutions we choose can drive economic development, as demonstrated by the use of batteries built in Boucherville for the self-serve electronic car system in Paris and soon in service in Indianapolis. Similarly, many innovations in converting heavy transport to natural gas have also used Quebec expertise worthy of recognition.”
What clearly emerged from this Forum is that public authorities have learned to work together more effectively on many major infrastructure projects,” Michel Leblanc said. “We have received assurances that construction work for the new Champlain Bridge would be finished before the start of major work that would partially close the La Fontaine Tunnel. The business community applauds this new spirit of cooperation.”
For an overview of the Strategic Forum on transportation networks, click here and watch our video.
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.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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