1. Reclaim Montreal’s status as a grand metropolis
The City’s role is to provide leadership by developing an integrated vision for economic development, to engage the other levels of government, Montreal’s metropolitan area partners, institutions and the business community in that vision, and to create the winning conditions that make companies want to locate here.
Major economic development projects can only be realized through partnerships and the engagement of all players in the development process. With a GDP of $110 billion and capital investments of nearly $15 billion per year, including more than 60% from the private sector, Montreal is the heart of Quebec’s economy. An investment in Montreal is an investment in Quebec, and the financial participation of federal and provincial governments is therefore essential.COMMITMENT Shoulder Montreal’s leadership role and build strong collaborative ties with other levels of government and our metropolitan partners:
● Make economic development a priority by re-establishing a proper Economic Development Department that would manage large projects and provide direction and coherence for local development policy;
● Coordinate the appropriate economic development resources of the two levels of government to optimize and expedite the arrival of new large corporations;
● Fully assume the leadership of the Montreal Agglomeration Council and Montreal Metropolitan Community, and develop strong ties with our municipal partners in both bodies;
● With the cities of Laval and Longueuil and municipalities on the North and South Shores, ensure that the Metropolitan master plan can live up to its full potential.
2. Encourage economic diversification
Montreal has undergone a major transition in the past few decades, from a manufacturing economy to an economy based on creativity, knowledge and innovation. We must continue along this path, by prioritizing these promising economic activities and providing a framework for them through economic "clusters".
Furthermore, the development of a local economy must be a constant concern. By sheer number and diversity, the thousands of small businesses and companies operating in our territory make Montreal a unique place, unparalleled in Quebec. Montreal must once again become a vibrant place where entrepreneurs want to locate to succeed.COMMITMENT Continue to develop "clusters" and tap into knowledge, creativity and innovation to develop growth opportunities:
● Working with our partners, reassess the missions and mandates of the existing clusters to revitalize them and set performance indicators and targets;
● Create a "Design" cluster (architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, graphic design and urban planning) to develop that industry and make it a lever for economic development;
● Create a "Culture" cluster out of the existing "Film and Television" cluster, which could then also include theatre, shows and festivals;
● Develop Montreal as an international centre for audiovisual production and a leader in the creative economy;
● Support business accelerator projects like the Technoparc to foster technology-based ventures;
● Encourage colleges and universities to work with business to optimize the fit between college and university programs and the training needs of Montreal-based companies.COMMITMENT Support the development of entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):
● Foster the emergence of a new generation of SMEs by standardizing, simplifying and speeding up administrative procedures for setting up a business;
● In cooperation with our partners, optimize services for business development, especially for young people and new immigrants;
● Support entrepreneurs and eliminate administrative obstacles that hamper the creation and growth of their businesses or the completion of an investment project.COMMITMENT Revitalize the manufacturing sector and industrial parks:
● Support manufacturing companies and help them modernize to become more competitive and productive;
● Reconsider the industrial parks’ vocations in light of emerging industries;
● Seek support from the other levels of government to upgrade and redevelop the parks that need it most and where unused land must be decontaminated, to make them available for a new generation of companies;
● Improve the information about and the promotion of municipal industrial parks.
3. Capture opportunities
Montreal must anticipate, discover, identify and capture avant-garde opportunities that have high value-added for the City’s development and outreach. Montreal must also leverage such opportunities as its 375th birthday, the construction and renovation of its three hospital campuses and the forthcoming signing of a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union to boost its economy.COMMITMENT Provide leadership in strategic watch for development opportunities:
• Mandate the economic and technology clusters to engage in strategic watch in their respective fields so that the MMC can do a comprehensive follow-up and inform partners on a regular basis;
• Hold an annual Gov Jam-type creative forum on emerging opportunities with members of the business and technology communities, youth leaders and institutional players;
• Mandate the Economic Development Department to mobilize the City’s resources and partners required for implementation.COMMITMENT Give Montreal a makeover for its 375th birthday and attract new tourists:
● Highlight Montreal’s rich heritage by strengthening its standing as a national and international cultural metropolis and the largest French city in the Americas;
● Negotiate an agreement with the federal government to regain the land (and related budgets) of Montreal’s Old Port and develop the area for all Montrealers to enjoy;
● Together with stakeholders, build on the Old Port as a cruise ship port of call, setting up a "free zone" that sells duty-free products for tourists, to attract more cruise ships to Montreal;
● Build an urban walkway between Mount Royal and the river, via the Quartier des Spectacles, all the way to Parc Jean-Drapeau. Extend the concept of urban walkways to the boroughs to create a green ribbon through the city;
● Enhance Parc Jean-Drapeau by creating a natural amphitheater that can host concerts and major shows;
● Complete the construction of Space for Life (Jewels of the Garden, the Grande Place, the Urban Vegetable Garden and the Insectarium expansion and metamorphosis);
● Enhance and support Montreal’s tourist facilities, focusing on attractions for target audiences with specific interests, such as history, religion, nature, entertainment, sports and gastronomy.COMMITMENT With the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU), position Montreal as a hub for EU companies:
● Review the priorities of Montreal International, which has the mission of raising Montreal’s international profile and boosting economic development by attracting foreign investment to Montreal;
● Support Aéroports de Montreal in its efforts to attract airlines with direct flights to the major European business centres.COMMITMENT Take advantage of the huge investments in Montreal’s university health centres:
● Encourage and support the "Life Sciences" cluster to maximize synergies among the university health centres, the universities themselves and private enterprise.