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Strategic Forum on Natural Resources: The mining and energy sectors will contribute to the city’s economic growth

Montréal, December 7, 2015 – Today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held its fourth Strategic Forum on Natural Resources, with the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, Pierre Arcand, and the Chair of the Ville de Montréal’s Executive Committee, Pierre Desrochers, in attendance. Some 250 decision makers gathered to discuss the major challenges and projects in natural resources, identify business opportunities in this market and consolidate the city’s expertise.

The city’s important role in promoting the sector

“The city continues to play an important role in promoting natural resources in Quebec by creating a business environment that is conducive to investment,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The sector is home to thousands of quality jobs in research and innovation in engineering consulting firms, professional enterprises and head offices. Our 2012 study put the sector’s spinoffs for the city at a potential $51.8 billion over 25 years.”

Ensure all of Quebec benefits from the Plan Nord

“The experts who attended this morning reiterated the importance for businesses of getting ready for the eventual increase in the price of natural resources,” Michel Leblanc said. “Plus, this year’s update to the Plan Nord sends a clear, positive signal about the sector’s importance for the Government of Quebec. The creation of the Bureau de commercialisation du Plan Nord (Plan Nord marketing bureau), announced by the Minister this morning, is an example of concrete measures to support mining proponents to create wealth for the regions and the city. Public and private investment are a must.”

Major challenges for the mining sector

“The weak price of mining and mineral resources and fickle international demand create uncertainty and hesitation among investors in the mining sector,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Paradoxically, history shows that this is the best time to invest and take advantage of a cycle that will eventually be on the upswing again. Leaders such as Tata Steel Minerals Canada and Stornoway Diamond Corporation are currently very active and will no doubt reap the rewards of their investments.”

“In spite of the difficult context, there are a number of business opportunities,” Michel Leblanc said. “This morning’s Forum showed the strategic value of Nemaska Lithium’s development of the lithium sector. In addition to exploiting the deposit, this project could help form an electric battery production sector here in Quebec, just as the entire U.S. is poised to adopt stringent requirements in the electrification of transportation.”

The importance of a diverse, responsible energy mix

“Today’s Forum was also an opportunity to look toward the future from a perspective of sustainable development,” Mr. Leblanc said. “A number of participating companies, such as SNC-Lavalin and Gaz Métro, showed the need to develop projects responsibly by involving communities to meet socially acceptable criteria. This forum also gave us a chance to meet Montréal players such as Biothermica Carbone, which innovates to reduce our environmental footprint while developing our economy. The Forum was also an opportunity to again point to the value of Eastern Montréal’s polyester industry. This integrated hub is the best example of the economic development that can generate an integrated approach based on a stable and predictable energy mix.”

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.


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Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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