Concordia chancellor proposes direction for revitalizing Montreal
Business people and journalists crowded into the J.A. DeSève Cinema on February 25 to hear L. Jacques Ménard, president of BMO Financial Group, Quebec, announce the findings of an18-month study commissioned from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Ménard was joined by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre; Michel Leblanc, the president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal; Éric Brat, senior partner of BCG’s Montreal office; and Concordia’s president Alan Shepard.
As Ménard outlined the report’s findings, Créer un nouvel élan à Montreal, his role as Concordia’s chancellor was openly acknowledged. Universities were frequently cited as crucial partners in any plan to rally the Montreal community towards future success.
In introducing Ménard, Shepard restated Concordia’s commitment to partner with the private sector to strengthen Montreal as a “ville de savoir” — a city of knowledge. Shepard sees this as a natural role for universities, which he described as wellsprings of innovation and growth.
The BMO-BCG report studied seven cities around the world, judged to be comparable to Montreal according to a specific set of criteria, and documented what actions those cities had taken to produce an economic turnaround in recent years. It also turned to 57 leaders in Montreal’s business and cultural communities to solicit their views on the city’s strengths and challenges.
The report outlines 10 proposals the authors believe will set Montreal on the road to being widely recognized as one of North America’s leading cities in terms of economic prosperity and quality of life.
The proposals were welcomed by Coderre. They will be discussed further at a gathering in June that will bring together leaders of various sectors of activity in Montreal to map out an action plan and timeline aimed at restoring the city to its former glory.