Montreal as a Gateway-City: Value chains and municipal democracy

Image source:

Dorval Brunelle
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2017, Vol. 29, No 3.

This contribution should be read as a historical and sociological introduction to the city of Montreal for our American and Canadian guests attending the 112th ASA meeting here in August. But at the same time, the background here provided will be used to contextualize a research project comparing Montreal with three other Canadian cities (Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver) on their respective policies, programs and actions as gateway-cities. Among the questions raised, we want to know what is the role of the municipal government in this regard, the content of its policies and programs, which stakeholders are involved, and how these policies, programs and actions make their way through the filters of municipal democracy. Although a comparative study, only the Montreal segment will be presented.

From the Cold War to the 1980’s

Montreal was founded 375 years ago, in 1642. Throughout its history, and especially since the opening of the Lachine canal, in 1825, and the completion of the Victoria bridge, in 1859, Montreal was par excellence the Atlantic gateway-city linking the St Lawrence river and the eastern seaboard far into the interior of the North American continent. But during the fifties, a number of factors will affect this mission considerably.  The main one being the Cold War which will have such profound impacts on the city’s vocation that its authorities are still dealing with their consequences some 60 years later. At the height of the Korean War, the question arose concerning the US’ military industrial complex access to basic resources in the event that the war would spill over into a fullfledged world conflict. In 1951, President Truman sets up a President’s Materials Policy Commission (aka. The Paley Commission) “to make an objective inquiry into all major aspects of the problem of assuring an adequate supply of production materials for our long-range needs and to make recommendations which will assist me in formulating a comprehensive policy on such materials” (President’s Letter, Jan. 22, 1951). Referring specifically to the ongoing conflict, the authors of the report seek to ‘prepare’ the Nation “largely because the Korean outbreak aroused fears that a third world war might swiftly follow”( Resources for Freedom, vol. 1, p. 154). This preparation entailed a thorough identification, quantification of availability and geographic localization of some 30 key commodities1 indispensable to the ongoing economic and industrial development of the US and the free world, as well as the reinforcement of their “joint security against aggression” (Letter of Transmittal, June 2, 1952). Besides the fact that, out of the 30 key commodities listed by the commission, Canada is singled out as a major provider for over 20, the recommendation that most concerns us here is the one pertaining to the building of the St Lawrence Seaway which the report proposes in these terms: “This seaway not only will greatly reduce the distance for shipping iron from the new rich deposits in Labrador to the United States inland industrial defense triangle, but this will provide a safe route. The present ocean lanes are exposed to the danger of submarine attacks” (Report, vol. 1, p. 167), as Map 1 illustrates.

Map 1: the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway: the inland route

Map 1: the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway: the inland route

In volume 2 of the Report, The Outlook for Key Commodities, the argument and the map are both taken up once more (Idem, p. 10 ), and the recommendation is made anew invoking lower costs (minus 25%) and a fourfold expansion of iron ore shipments (Idem, p. 15). The safety issue is also reaffirmed: “A safer route, and a less expensive one, could be afforded by the completion of the St Lawrence Seaway. Cargoes could be more readily defended against submarines in the river than in the open sea” (Idem, p. 20). Even though the Korean War was over by 1953,“ the agreement (to build the waterway, D.B.) was formalized in an August 1954 exchange of notes, rather than with a treaty” ( Macfarlane, 2010, p. 13) and work proceeded apace with the result that the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway was inaugurated, in 1959.

To visualize the effect of this initiative on Montreal as a gateway, the map below juxtaposes both canals : line A shows the Lachine Canal route through the city core, and line B, the St Lawrence Seaway running parallel to the South shore of the St Lawrence river. Directly connected to the Montreal harbour and running through the lower part of the island, the Lachine Canal had spawned the construction of a host of warehouses, grain silos and manufactures over the years, and its adjacent districts were mostly made up of blue collar communities. The St Lawrence Seaway on the other hand, in bypassing Montreal’s harbour and adjacent districts, will force the closure of the canal and with it, that of warehouses, silos, and manufactures on its banks. Activity in the harbour will be considerably reduced, and new port facilities will be built several kilometers downstream, leading to the closing and redrawing of rail lines and of truck transportation routes.

The city of Montreal itself will undergo a profound urban change: the closing of the Lachine canal with its industries, silos and services will extend to the railcar manufacturing and repairing facilities as well (Angus shops). Thereupon, the working class districts along the canal and the waterfront will be faced with a sudden surge in unemployment. These are the districts that would spur the social mobilisations of the sixties and seventies against the municipal government and, in the eyes of its more radical fringe, against the capitalist system as well.2

Meanwhile on the other side of the class barrier, other concerned citizens were quite aware that such a momentous shift called for a bold initiative, and one of the first to see this was the Montreal Chamber of Commerce which came up with the suggestion, early in 1959, that the city should submit an application to hold a universal exhibition in 1967, a date marking the first centennial of the Canadian federation. In November of 1962, the International Exhibitions Bureau awarded the 1967 World’s Fair to Montreal, after the withdrawal of Vienna, in 1960, and of Moscow, in April of 1962. As a curious compromise to a specifically Montreal linguistic geography, whereby a main thoroughfare, the St Laurent boulevard, divides the city in a North-South axis between a francophone majority in the East and an anglophone one in the West, it was decided to hold the fair in the middle of the river, on St Helen’s island which would be  considerably enlarged for the occasion.

The preparations for Expo 67 – as the fair was nicknamed3 – included important investments in infrastructure which momentarily confirmed the city’s relinquishment of its former vocation as an industrial gatewaycity. As a case in point, none of the newly built metro stations were installed near or close to the waterfront with the result that the surrounding districts were neglected during the next decade or so, until the late seventies, when renovation and gentrification will bring on a reconversion to cultural and touristic activities. In other words, infrastructure investments during Expo 67 and in the years following will bring about and confirm the city’s transition from an industrially-based and labour intensive gateway to a commercially-based and service gateway.

Map 2: the Lachine Canal through Montreal (A); the St. Lawrence Seaway on the south-shore (B)

Map 2: the Lachine Canal through Montreal (A); the St. Lawrence Seaway on the south-shore (B)

In the meantime, between 1960 and 1966, the provincial liberals launched the so-call “Quiet Revolution”, an expression which refers to a host of initiatives and programmes covering every branch of the economy and affecting every sector of Quebec society. These range from the setting up of a bureau for economic planning (Conseil d’orientation économique du Québec, COEQ), the nationalization of hydro-power (Hydro-Québec), the creation of a public pension plan (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CDPQ), a public health system (Quebec Health Insurance Plan), as well as a public education system, to name a few signal initiatives. The Union Nationale will follow suit during their own stay in power (1966-1970) with, notably, the creation of universities (Concordia University and the province wide Université du Québec’s network with its 10 universities, institutes, etc). The great majority of these institutions will be based in Montreal and they will have a significant impact on employment in the service sector, thus partially compensating the long and persistent decline of employment in manufacturing over the years.4 The federal government will also increase its involvement in the Montreal economy. For example, the construction of la Maison de Radio-Canada east of boulevard St Laurent (1968-73) is a 35$ million investment which will specifically aim at counterbalancing the concentration of skyscrapers in the western – and mostly anglophone – end of the city.5

Nevertheless, during the sixties and seventies, Montreal and the Quebec economy will go through a difficult phase characterised by a shift toward Toronto of key manufacturing and financial actors (heavy industry, banking and insurance most notably) which in turn will lead to a deepening commercial deficit vis-à-vis the province of Ontario, both feeding political distrust and insatisfaction vis-àvis Canadian federation and federalism within Quebec.

If the economic fallout of Expo 67 was mostly beneficial for the city of Montreal, the hosting of the Games of the XXIst Olympiad, in July of 1976, was an economic disaster. In 1970, the original cost of the games was estimated at $120 million, revised to $310 million, in 1973. However the final tally – thanks to delays, strikes, overcosts, and corruption – came to $1,6 billion, a debt that took 30 years to erase. The same year, barely three months after the Olympics closing ceremony, on November 15, the Parti Québécois trounces the scandal plagued Québec Liberal Party of Robert Bourassa by winning 71 seats out of 110.6

All through these years, a growing polarisation had been mounting between the federal government of prime minister P. E. Trudeau, with its emphasis on a panCanadian economic development and greater labour mobility (Quebec at one time being labeled a “designated region” eligible for federal funding), and nationalists who will opt for a renegotiation of the federal compact, an option on which the Parti Québécois (PQ) will call a referendum towards the end of its first mandate, in May of 1980.7 The “no” to Quebec sovereingty having prevailed (60% vs 40%), the Trudeau government will quickly move ahead with its own vision of Canada, and take three iniatives in succession, the first two in 1982 : (i) to “patriate” the Constitution still held in the mother country at the time; (ii) to enshrine a Bill of Rights therein along the American model; and in 1984 (iii) to set up a Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (aka the Macdonald Commission) with a mandate to derive a suitable economic strategy out of its constitutional initiatives.8

From 1980 to 2000

Up until the tabling of the Macdonald report, in 1985, the Canadian political economy operated under the import substitution strategy (ISS), often assimilated to economic nationalism. But the commission will engage in a strong critique claiming that the strategy in question, as implemented in the Canadian context by both levels of governments in parallel, instead of fostering “economic union” had led to a “balkanisation” of the Canadian economic space.9 And, in order to put an end to the forces of fragmentation of its economic union, Canada had to turn its back on John Maynard Keynes who had dominated its economic policy thinking since the forties, and embrace an alternate strategy, that of export promotion (EPS).

In the meantime, at the global level, ISS had also come under severe criticism in the 70’s and 80’s most notably by both the World Bank (WB) and the IMF. In 1975, WB president Robert McNamara directed countries that solicited the bank’s help to “turn their manufacturing enterprises away from import substitution towards the much larger opportunities flowing from export promotion” (The Economist, March 25, 2009). In order to implement such a shift, the central recommendation coming out of the commission was the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the United States10, on one hand, and the negotiation of a new commercial arrangement between the federal, the ten provincial and the three territorial governments, on the other. Negotiations on both fronts – internal and external – proceeded apace in the second case at least with the result that the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1989, followed by NAFTA, in 1994, while an Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), was finally signed in 1995.11

At the onset, this new political economy was built on the uniqueness of a Canada-US economic partnership which was later extended to Mexico, a process leading to what some analysts have dubbed “deep economic integration” between the three countries of North America.12 Between 1980 and 2001, regional trade as a percentage of total exports grew from 33,6% to 54,8% for the three NAFTA partners. Intrazone trade by origin as well as by destination grew by close to 300% between 1990 and 2003. Mexico’s exports to the US accounted for 70,45% of total exports in 1990, and for 88,91%, in 2003. Canada’s exports to the US accounted for 75,77% of total exports, in 1990, and for 85,88%, in 2003. These progressions are even more impressive when one looks at bilateral trade with the US as a percentage of GDP. In the case of Canada, exports to the US stood at 16,5% of GDP in 1990, and at 27,2% in 2003. In Mexico, the corresponding figures are 7% and 23,9%, while in the U.S., exports to Canada and Mexico stood at 1.9% in 1990 and 2.5% of GDP, in 2003 (Brunelle, 2008: 44). More importantly, the nature and content of integration within North America was quite different at the time from that of the European Union, for instance, where political and legislative integration is entrusted to common instutitions – Parliament, Council, etc. – and economic integration still operates through trade between firms and between sectors, while in North America, there are no common institutions and intra firm trade, as well as activities of majority owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) represent two dominant features of economic integration.

Furthermore, NAFTA will spur a major shift in the development of transportation infrastructure within North America, a shift that affects primarily both road and rail transports. Whereas, national integration in the three countries relied on the development of transportation facilities e.g. roads, trains, and waterways, in an East-West axis, exchange patterns now called for the implementation of transportation corridors in a North-South axis, a shift that, according to FINA, requires a specific « coalitions of interest » :

Following the implementation of NAFTA, coalitions of interest have been formed in order to promote specific transport channels, to develop the infrastructures of these channels and to propose jurisdictional amendments to facilitate the crossing of borders. These coalitions include businesses, government agencies, civil organizations, metropolitan areas, rural communities and also individuals, wishing to strengthen the commercial hubs of their regions.13

Among many concerns, traffic congestion emerges as a major challenge with the implementation of a just-in-time production and distribution model spurred on by the extension of intra-firm trade on both the North and South borders of the US.

As far as Montreal is concerned, the removal of headquarters, the ongoing desindustrialisation and the extension of intra-firm trade will have important impacts, especially on unemployment which will systematically hover above 10% of its workforce from the seventies until the late nineties. Montreal’s textile industry will shed some 35% of its workforce with the phasing out of the multi-fiber agreement (1974-2004), and even though GM will open a car making plant in Boisbriand north of Montreal, in 1990, it will subsequently be closed in 2002 after having produced some 4 million cars.14 But among the many factors that are evoked to explain its decline, the crucial one seems to be the loss of its role as a major transport hub in North America between 1980 and 2000 (Polèse, 2009: 27-8). All four modes of transportation are affected. Montreal Airport will decline rapidly relative to Toronto’s, a situation rendered worse by the illfated initiative on the part of the federal government to built a new international airport, Mirabel Airport, located inland some 50 kms north of Dorval Airport, which would henceforth serve as a strictly continental hub. Built in 1975, the new facilities will be closed in 1997. At the termination of this saga, Montreal will occupy a mere 10% of the Canadian market while the number of passengers transiting through Toronto will be multiplied by three. Furthermore, Port of Montreal is still insufficiently equipped to tackle extended containerisation15, while train and road transportation are not yet adequately adapted to intermodal freight movement.16

But there is also a brighter side to all this, since another process is underway at the time that will slowly emerge in full view during the nineties, which is the establishment of a francophone economic elite and of an economic model dubbed “Québec Inc.” A symbolic milestone in this regard is obviously the merger of the Montreal Board of Trade – created in 1822 – with the Chambre de commerce de Montréal – created in 1887 – to form the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain (Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, CCMM), in 1992 (Polèse, 2009, p. 17).

“Québec Inc.” refers to the major publicly owned companies set up during the so-called “quiet revolution” of the sixties and seventies, notably HydroQuébec, with benefits of $2 861 billion, in 2016, and CDPQ, the manager of Quebec’s public and para-public pension and insurance plans with assets $270,7 billion, in 2016. The expression also encompasses a host of private businesses and entreprises under francophone control which have attained a enviable status both in Canada and abroad in banking (Banque Nationale), engineering and construction (Lavalin), publishing (Québécor), aircraft and rail (Bombardier), consumer distribution (Alimentation Couche Tard), and pharmacy (Jean Coutu), to name a few. It also extends to an important social economy sector. For instance, the Desjardins Group, created in 1910, is the largest association of credit unions in North America with assets of $260,2 billion, in 2016; the Fonds de solidarité de la FTQ, a development capital fund set up in 1983 by Quebec’s largest labour body had assets totalling $12,2 billion, in 2016, while Fondaction, also a labour-sponsored fund, reported assets of $1,57 billion, also in 2016.17

But coming back to a continental perspective, two major events in the US will lead to a reappraisal of EPS among Canadian public and private authorities. The first is the terrorist attacks on US soil, Sept 9, 2001, and the second, the financial crisis of 2007-08. The attacks will have a detrimental impact on the North-South flow of goods, and on Quebec and Ontario economies, in particular. Tighter border controls will cause important delays that will be borne by exporting firms, especially the smaller exporters who can’t take advantage of the smart border programs as readily as larger ones.18 Later, in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007-08, in compliance with the Buy America and Buy American Acts, Canadian firms – as well as Mexican ones – will be barred from submitting tenders in contradiction with NAFTA provisions and principles. These events will have a cumulative impact on the Canadian political economy outlook which we will present in succession.

First, in the aftermath of its first victory over the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC), in January 2006, the conservative government of Stephen Harper19 will table its economic plan entitled Advantage Canada. Building a Strong Economy for Canadians (2006).20 Among the many commitments made, six concern us here. One, in a section entitled “New Ground Rules for Success in Global Markets”, the Plan introduces the notion of “global value chains” (GVC) that will become a central component of its commercial policy. 21 Two, the Plan states that the strenghtening of the Canadian economic union – through fiscal balance, enhanced internal trade and labour mobility, etc. – is a major objective. Three, it ties infrastructure spending to the gateway concept.22 Four, in order to retain a critical access to the US market, its proposes to increase “both security and border trade efficiency ».23 Five, given the difficulty of completing the Doha Round at the multilateral level, it will seek to open free trade negotiations at the bilateral and regional levels. Finally, six, it will develop a « new approach » to international trade policy through a comprehensive Global Commerce Strategy ».24

Second, at the time of the conservatives second electoral victory over the LPC, in October 2008, the ongoing financial crisis, and the subsequent resort to protectionism on the part of the US government, its spill-over effect on the European Union’s economic wellbeing, and the double digit economic growth in China and in other economies (India, Brazil, etc.), all called for a readjustment of Canada’s commercial strategy. The government will then proceed to devise a threetrack approach (Brunelle, 2011: 32). The first track will consist in expanding trade with the US at all costs, and in order to achieve this, exportation of energy products (oil, gas, electricity) and raw materials should compensate for the decline in the exportation of goods. The second track will consist in the adoption of a Global Commerce Strategy (GCS),25 in 2009, with the objective of diversifying Canada’s reliance on the US market through the negotiation of FTAs and other agreements with a host of partners: the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canada-India Partnership, Canada-Morocco FTA, etc. Finally, the third track called for the adoption of a new commercial model, that of integrative trade relying on global supply chains with their gateways and corridors, an approach that will openly involve cities. This is how the new approach is presented:

The emergence of global supply chains as the preeminent business model is a key factor in global economic changes. Propelled by dramatic advances in information and transportation technology, leading-edge production strategies now feature deeper integration of research, design, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and service dispersed across the globe. Commonly referred to as “integrative trade”, this new international business model uses lower trade barriers to distribute production around the world through outsourcing and off-shoring to maximize efficiency and reduce costs of each component — taking advantage of global supply chains.26

For its part, the Department of Transport and Infrastructure provides these definitions for gateways and corridors:

Gateways and trade corridors are major systems of marine, road, rail and air transportation infrastructure of national significance for international commerce, within a defined geographic zone. Gateway: a multi-modal entry/exit point through which goods and international passengers move beyond local, and even regional, markets. Trade Corridor: a linear, multimodal orientation of international passenger and freight flows that connect gateways to major markets. Gateway and corridor strategies are integrated packages of longterm investment and policy measures that advance the development and exploitation of gateways and corridors for national benefit.27

The GCS establishes three gateways and corridors: an Atlantic Gateway (Halifax), a Continental Gateway (Montreal and Toronto) and a Pacific Gateway (Vancouver). A fourth, the Arctic Gateway, is in preparation.28 

This is the backdrop against which one can understand the logic on which the National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors of 2007, revised in 2009, will rest. The introductory message from John Baird, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, makes this quite clear : « (As) a comprehensive, integrated and strategic approach, this Gateways Policy framework represents an important new direction in transportation and trade.»29 On July 30, 2007, the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the development of an OntarioQuebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor (OQCGTC). According to Sirois, « The ojective of the MOU is the development of a Continental Gateway aimed toward a strategic and competitive multimodal transport system which both facilitates international commerce and contributes to internal exchanges.» (Sirois, 2008, p. 12). The Strategic Committee established under the MoU is tasked with the preparation of a strategy to take advantage of the funds provided by the federal government to facilitate interconnections along the lines of what had been provided to the Asia-Pacific Gateway and to the Atlantic Gateway. This objective was to be completed in 24 months.

In June 2009, this intiative led the Quebec government to set up the Greater Montreal Working Group on the OQCGTC, in partnership with the Interregional Committee on freight transport (Comité interrégional pour le transport des marchandises, CITM). The final report was completed in November 2010, including a “Table of priorities” which listed «eight preoccupations regarding the transportation of goods » and 41 priority actions to be implemented either in the short, medium or long term. In December 2011, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) adopts the Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement (PMAD) which identifies priority projects at the metropolitan level in order to establish the city as a Continental Gateway.

Finally, June 1st, 2012, a Logistics and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montreal, known as CargoM, is set up bringing together the area’s stakeholders.30 This being said, and before we move ahead, it should be noted that, contrary to the MOU of 2007 mentioned above, the National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors revised in 2009 reaches beyond questions of infrastructures and logistics into value chains, a concept which is not picked up by stakeholders at City Hall or at the CMM. To conclude the present section on the Gateway Policy and its after math, it should be noted that virtually nothing came out of the governance schemes set up either at the federal provincial, at the provincial-municipal or at the local levels. And out of the $2,1 billion set aside by the federal government, Port de Montreal raked in a mere $16 million for the improvement of its container handling facilities. In the meantime, Windsor was allotted around 50% of the fund for the building of approaches to a new bridge spanning the St Lawrence, and some money was even provided to the state of Michigan in order to help it finance its own infrastructures on the U.S. side of the border.

Montreal Today

Montreal island covers 500 sq kms (193 sq. miles), and the Montreal metropolitan community (MMC), 4360 sq kms (1683 sq. miles). The population of the city of Montreal is 1,7 million (2016), that of the island of Montreal – known in administrative parlance as the “Montreal agglomeration” – 1, 9 million, and of the metropolitan region, 4,1 million.31 According to Statistics Canada’s 2006 Census of Population, both the French and English languages lost ground on the Montreal island between 1971 and 2006. The francophone population now stands below half of the total, a situation tied to two factors: the migration of francophones towards the suburbs, and the surge in immigration which accounts for the gain in the “other” category, also known as the allophone population. Linguistics transfers from the allophones to French or English are now more or less tied 50-50. As of 2011, the immigrant population stood at 22,6%, in Montreal, compared to 46%, in Toronto, 40%, in Vancouver, and 8, 1%, in Halifax.


In terms of well-being, Montreal has historically been plagued by a high incidence of poverty which affects a third (36%) of its households; its per capita income stood at $21 289, in 2003, and at $26 984, in 2013. In 2011, 92 200 Montrealers were unemployed (8,7% of the working population), 561 500 were inactive (42,6% of the 15-64 age group ), and 175 328 were on last resort financial assistance (9,7% of the population). In 2013, 19,1% of the population of the Greater Montreal lived below the low-income threshold, the highest among all Canadian cities. Nevertheless, in its latest Vital Signs report released in 2015, the Community Foundations of Canada contends that the situation has improved somewhat compared to the years 2000- 2010, even though the metropolitan region still has the highest poverty level as the table below shows.

Economically, the Greater Montreal is the province’s powerhouse accounting for 53 % of its GDP, almost tied to Greater Halifax which accounts for 52,7% of Nova Scotia’s GDP, less than Greater Vancouver’s 58% of British Columbia’s GDP, and above the Toronto metropolitan area’s 42,2% of Ontario’s GDP. Toronto is by far Canada’s powerhouse: in 2016, its GDP ($330 billion) was virtually equal to that of the province of Quebec ($337 billion), three times that of Vancouver ($119 billion), and 17 times that of Halifax ($19 billion).

In administrative terms, the island of Montreal is divided into 19 boroughs, each with its mayor, and 15 so-called “reconstituted cities”,32 for a total of 34 entities. The Montreal metropolitan region comprises 91 municiplities which are administered by the MMC33 which comprises 82 : 10 municipalities of the region on the North Shore are not part of the MMC, while 3 on the South Shore which are not part of the MMR are in the MMC. The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has jurisdiction on land, 4 kms of shore, and a terminal in Contrecoeur, one of the three municipalities on the South shore in the MMC. The map below shows the Greater Montreal area in light blue including the “reconstituted cities”, and the City of Montreal in dark blue.

At the political level, the breakdown between the municipal entities operates in the following manner : the city of Montreal is run by a City council comprising 65 elected officials and an executive committee of 11 members.34 The agglomeration is run by an Agglomeration Council comprising 31 elected officials representing all the municipalities on the island.35 Finally, the Greater Montreal – a statistical notion which is not geographically coterminous with the territory of the 82 municipalities making up the MMC – is run by a Council of 28 members, and an executive committee of 8.36

As far as authority is concerned, the city council’s jurisdiction includes, notably, public safety, governmental agreements, environment, the Master Plan, and the three-year capital work program. The city council also oversees, standardizes and approves the decisions made by the borough councils. The MMC has competence on land use, economic development, social housing, equipments and infrastructure, public transport, and environment, and relies on the recommendations coming out of five standing committees: on urban planning, on economic development, on environment, on transportation, and on social housing. Since 2005, the MMC has tabled three five-year plans.

Recently, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal offered this assesment : “With 103 mayors on the territory of the MMC, with prerogatives distributed between cities, boroughs, agglomerations, with a metropolis divided into 5 administrative regions by Quebec : the governance of Montreal is of a disturbing complexity!” (MMC, 2015).


In a report tabled in 2010, the Working Group on the challenges of governance and taxation in the Montreal region (Rapport Côté-Seguin, 2010) documented these difficulties and showed that Montreal’s internal problems were such that the larger perspective was lost. The Report underlined that Montreal and its region were loosing ground quickly : the economic weight of the Montreal region in the Canadian economy stood at 11 %, and would continue to decline unless something was done (Idem, p 16). The Report also pointed to the fact that there existed no coordination at the ministerial level in Quebec regarding government action vis-à-vis its metropolis. Responsibility for the region was divided between three ministers : one for the Island of Montreal, one for Laval and the Laurentians, and a third for the South Shore (Id. p. 44). In conclusion, the report stated that, with so many actors involved, the main challenge was a better coordination between activities and the promotion of a coherent economic development, two objectives that should be reached through the rationalisation and the simplification of the mandates of all the organisms involved (Id., p. 55).


April 30, 2015, the CMM adopts the 2015- 2020 Metropolitan Economic Development Plan (MEDP).38 This Plan confirms the two-pronged approach adopted in its previous versions (2005- 10 and 2010-15): one, being the contribution of its clusters to the city’s global standing, and two, the role of Montreal International (its lobbying arm to attract foreign investors) as the city’s promoter at the international level:

A clear and coherent vision of economic development is an approach that focuses on the development of areas of excellence and industrial clusters. The CMM’s strategy continues with a model of intervention through the mobilization of industrial clusters. Much like the CMM, we have seen the effectiveness of clusters in fostering business and job creation, encouraging the development of new products and services, and raising the city’s profile. Industrial clusters are essential in supporting our economy’s innovation and productivity. They can also contribute to the development of the smart city (BTMM, 2015).

The Plan in question was the result of a vast consultation among an array of stakeholders mostly from the economic sector. It identified 8 major challenges39 and defined three strategic axes: (i) capitalizing on the strengths of the economy; (ii) optimizing its factors of production; and (iii) establishing an overall coherence at the metropolitan level, in order to prevent intra metropolitan strategic divergences.40

A committee of partners was set up made up of the 9 clusters, Montreal International, the Board of Trade, the Quebec government, the Canadian government, and the CMM to identify issues and challenges in order to boost all clusters, but the strategy itself was basically concentrated on the promotion of the logistics and transport sectors in collaboration with the CargoM cluster. In view of this, the action plan sets up a committee called MEG-Mtl – for Metropolitan economic governance-Montreal –, 41 made up of the aforementioned stakeholders which will have the responsibility to follow-up on the implementation of the strategy. And to better fulfil its mandate, the committee would rely on the data provided by the Greater Montreal Observatory, an entity set up at the instigation of the MMC, in November 2008.42

The MMC action plan for 2015-2020 mentions the federal government but once, in passing, and there is no reference to the gateway policy. The federal level is also omitted in Annex on the 5 levels of intervention. One of the reasons for this could be that the federal government has no jurisdiction over municipal affairs which fall under the competence of the provinces. It would be interesting to find out how this relation plays itself out in other Canadian city-regions and in the provincial strategies visà-vis the Gateway Policy. For all intent and purposes, Toronto as a provincial capital probably played an important role in facilitating the city of Windsor’s access to federal funds, whereas the government in Quebec does not seem to have played a similar role as far as Montreal was concerned. Could this shortcoming be one of the reasons why the province in its entirety, and Montreal’s region in particular, reaped so little from the $2,2 billion infrastructure fund mentioned at the end of section 1? And does this failure – which could be interpreted either in terms of blindspot, ignorance, or indifference – on the part of the MMC allow for more leeway in terms of strategy, or less? What are its advantages or disadvantages, and its costs compared to what other cities are doing?

But the relevancy of these questions will become somewhat obsolete as of November 4, 2015, when prime minister Stephen Harper’s conservative government will be defeated by the LPC lead by Justin Trudeau. A year earlier, in April of 2014, on the Quebec political scene, Philippe Couillard’s liberals had in turn defeated the PQ led by Pauline Marois. Consequently, before we present our research project, a word about the new political context is in order.

The research project in the present context

As noted in a previous section, the city of Montreal and its region did not fare well under conservative governments in Ottawa as far as public investments were concerned, an estrangement most probably tied to the fact that the province elected a mere handful of conservative deputies in all three federal elections of 2006, 2008 and 2011, not one of them from the metropolitan area.


But if the city itself, as far as its vocation as a gateway city is concerned, was overlooked by the federal government, and to a certain degree by the liberal government of Jean Charest as well (2003-2012) – excepting the episode of the municipal demergers of 2003-0643, and the construction of two megahospitals, 44 – the newly elected liberal government of Philippe Couillard – April, 2014 – will come up with two initiatives in succession: the tabling of a “maritime strategy” for Quebec, in June 2015,45 and the adoption of Bill n° 121, An Act to increase the autonomy and powers of Ville de Montréal, the metropolis of Québec, in January 2017.

The Maritime Strategy (MS) establishes a “flexible governance” relying on a secretariate and an Interdepartmental Committee. The “Secrétariat aux affaires maritimes” is entrusted with “a mandate to coordinate the implementation of the Maritime Strategy and the 2015- 2020 Action Plan (…) It will also be responsible for recommending (…) the priority projects to be implemented, for example with respect to regional development of the maritime sector, and for determining the projects to be set forth to the federal government, especially under the new New Building Canada Plan (SM, p. 60). Furthermore, the MS has adopted 10 strategic priorities, the first three of which are : (i) investment in port and commercial infrastructure; (ii) relying on Greater Montreal’s strategic geographical location, to develop logistical hubs;46 and (iii) the development of 16 industrial port zones47 (MS, p. 31 ss).

A large area encircling the Port of Montreal is one such zone, while the 15 others are all ports along the shores of the St Lawrence river: Québec City, Trois Rivières, Sorel-Tracy, etc. The Montreal ZIP covers 5 boroughs (out of 19) that are members of a committee, together with the City of Montreal, the Montreal Metropolitan Community, Port of Montreal, provincial departments, and Cargo M. The committee is charged with the preparation of an action or development plan.

As for Bill n°121, the idea of granting Montreal a metropolis status is most promising if it allows for a greater latitude in managing its own affairs. But, if the bill in question does grant the city more autonomy, notably, on its economic development, it also imposes serious restrictions on the exercise of democratic rights by eliminating the recourse to public consultation and to referendums on major housing projects.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, if both the Global Commerce Strategy and the Global Markets Action Plan are still on the website of the recently renamed Global Affairs Canada department,48 the present liberal government’s strategy is to be found elsewhere. First, there are two chapters in Budget 2017 that most concern us here: chapter 1 which establishes Innovation Canada with a mandate to develop six Economic Strategy Tables,49 create superclusters,50 and a New Strategic Innovation Fund; and chapter 2, which establishes a Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative including, inter alia, a National Trade Corridors Fund “to address urgent capacity constraints and freight bottlenecks at major ports of entry, and to better connect the rail and highway infrastructure that delivers economic growth across Canada”.51 Second, the department of Infrastructure and Communities’ Investing in Canada Plan is dedicated to new investments in infrastructure for cities and communities. It establishes the 2014 New Building Canada Fund (NBCF), with $14 billion to support projects of national, regional and local significance that promote economic growth, job creation and productivity, the Fund being a component within the overall $53 billion 2014 New Building Canada Plan (NBCP).52

Once the stage at all three levels – federal, provincial and municipal – has been briefly set, a presentation of the research agenda is in order. Coming back to the historical background presented earlier, three commercial strategies were presented in succession: the import substitution strategy (ISS) which was implemented until the eighties, the export promotion strategy (EPS), implemented between 1985 and 2005, and finally, the integrative commerce strategy (ICS), adopted by the Conservative government in 2006, a strategy that relied on global supply chains with their gateways and corridors, and that expressly targeted cities. Yet neither the notion of integrative commerce nor supply chains figure prominently in recent liberal programs or initiatives, while gateways and corridors are frequently mentioned, and so are cities. This constitutes an important common thread that runs through the conservative and liberal government’s economic strategies. As we saw, the main feature of ICS, as opposed to both ISS and EPS, is tied to the fact that, contrary to the other two that relied first and foremost on both federal and provincial “state intervention”, ICS reaches down another tier to city level, which is henceforth called upon to closely implicate itself in economic development both as a gateway-city, and as an arrival and departure point in a corridor. It remains to be seen what part this new commercial policy with its value chains, gateways and corridors played when provincial governments granted the status of metropolis to Montreal and to Toronto.


In preparing our research agenda barely a year ago, we contended that ICS could very well be a determining factor in our model : once supported by federal and provincial governments, this strategy places cities or, better still, city-regions and gateway-cities at the forefront in the new political economy. Now, we must revised this formulation and start by assuming that policies centered around transportation corridors, ports and commercial infrastructures, maritime strategy and the like, are both indicators and revelators of a commercial strategy based on integrative commerce and value chains. It is therefore these policies, programs and actions that should serve as the starting points for our comparative research, thus leaving in abeyance the question as to whether the new forms and contents of the collaborations between the three levels of governments validate or not the idea that we are contending with ICS.

We then have to identify and tie together policies, programs, plans and actions adopted at the three levels – federal, provincial, and municipal –, and figure out how they are connected to one another, through what normative and administrative channels, what governance structures, and who are the stakeholders involved. Only once the mapping is done, and the interviews are completed will we be in a position to establish the relations and connections between the implementation of these policies and strategies, on one hand, the role played – if any – by the democratic institutions at the municipal level in discussing, amending and approving said policies and strategies, on the other.


Montreal is still at the crossroads between what urban regime theorists have characterized as a new phase or model of city structure, on one hand, and the old phase or model, on the other. (Short and Kim, 1999, p. 117). Regarding the new phase or model, two broad changes can be noted: the emergence of city states separated from their national economies and the creation of city to city connections across international boundaries. In political terms, globalization forces are pulling cities away from the « national » economy and connecting them to the forces of globalization (or reglobalization, as the case may be). In this regard, as we have established, Montreal is still very much both dependent on, and deeply tied to the province of Quebec, not so much in strictly economic terms, but more so in the sociopolitical imaginary of many of its stake-holders.

Furthermore, in geographic terms, but also in political and economic terms as well, Montreal is, for all intent and purposes, at the crossroads between two axes of development: an East-West axis, on one hand, and a North-South axis, on the other. Obviously, the interplay between these forces is certainly not unique to Montreal since it applies with varying degree to most if not all Canadian cities. As a case in point, if NAFTA has pulled Montreal’s economy southward allowing it to consolidate and expand its trade with the US to a considerable extent up until recently, the entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union would, on the face of it, present a welcomed compensation to the recent slowdown in exportation to the US. But the implementation of such a substitution reaches beyond questions of intermodality, and touches on the postindustrial vocation of the city itself and its connections to the provincial hinterland. If the move away from the Keynesian to the entrepreneurial state, at both national and local levels has lead to the establishment of new connections between political globalization and urban regimes, these forces have played and will continue to play themselves out in an altogether different way in the case of Montreal for three reasons at least : (i) its postindustrial – and M o n t r e a l f r o m p a g e 1 7 industrial as well – basis is still province wide and its political-economy is very much province oriented – if not determined – while its interplay with federal strategies is intermittent at best ; (ii) its role as gateway is subject to divergent and competing forces ; and (iii) the cityregion’s policial processes are highly fragmented. If Montreal is obviously a postkeynesian city (Brenner, 2004), the question of the nature, content and above all of the main features of the process of metropolization underway is still an open one (Hamel, 2010). And if, in some cases, gateway-cities as economic transition zones (or economic transitional spaces) have become as important as the nationstate, it does not follow that Montreal as a gateway city has acquired much leeway in facing the competing demands and expectations coming from either level of government.

Finally, at a theoretical level, the notion of urban regime in the context of globalization should allow us – in the case of Montreal at least – to probe the relationship between cities and the global economy in a federal context where two competing political economies and social identities – pan-canadian and provincial or québécois – are at play, thus providing a different take on « the local and national political differences that are capable of exerting significant influence on the way globalization affects city development » (Leo, 1997, p. 78). And at an empirical level, a comparative analysis could help us expand our knowledge of urban regimes understood as « the formal and informal arrangements by which public bodies and private interests function together to be able to make and carry out governing decisions » (Stone, 1989, p. 6), in conformity or not with the democratic institutions and processes sanctioned at the municipal level.


  1. Foreword to vol. 2 provides this information: “key commodities, such as metallic and nonmetallic minerals, chemicals, and rubber (are studied in vol. 2, D.B.). Commodity studies in the energy field covering coal, electric power, natural gas, and oil, appear in volume 3 of this Report”.
  2. This is not to say that federal or provincial governments were not targeted, on the contrary. But the central issue invoked here, i.e. the aftermath of the closing of the Lachine canal, got quite lost at other levels with the emergence of other pressing issues, most notably the language issue and Quebec nationalism. As a case in point, at the federal and provincial levels, confrontation between nationalism and federalism came to the forefront, while only the municipal scene witnessed the creation of a left-wing political party, le Front d’action politique (FRAP) at the closing of the sixties.
  3. Because 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 – as well as the 150th of the Canadian Constitution – , and also because Expo nostalgia still runs quite high among the older Montrealers, it should be noted that 1967 was a most festive year during which frictions between parties and social classes were suspended, even though General De Gaulle will briefly rekindle the fire of dissension during a famous speech given July 24 from the balcony of City Hall when he endorses the separatist slogan “Vive le Québec libre!”
  4. For instance, employment in 4 services sectors (public service, universities, electricity, as well as engineering and consulting firms) will be multiplied by three, from 20 200 to 65 300, between 1961 and 1981 (Polèse, 2009).
  5. Between 1961 and 1978, the share of public administration expenditures as a percentage of Quebec GNP will grow at a yearly rate of 13,6%, from 26,7% to 45,3%.
  6. There is a clear permutation here. Going into the election, the PLQ had 102 seats, and the PQ 6. Following the election, the PLQ had lost 76 seats and the PQ gained 65.
  7. It is worth mentioning in passing that the PQ referendum had an important demographic and economic impact : it accelerated an ongoing exodus out the province and most notably out of Montreal. But as all migrants were indistinctly labelled “anglophones” by the media and in the scholarly literature, instead of Canadiens, neoCanadiens or Canadians as the case may be, the number of francophones and other nonanglophones in the lot was never established. Between 1976 and 1981, some 131 500 will leave the province, bringing the total of departures to 300 000 over a 20 year period (1966 -86). Presently, the total of departures stands at 600 000 over 45 years (1971-2015), according to the Fraser Institute quoted by The Gazette (Plante, 2016). Furthermore, according to the Montreal Urban Community, the city will loose some 99 head offices between January and June, 1977, while the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) – a business organisation – estimated the total at 263 departures between January 1977 and November 1978, the vast majority of which went to Toronto (Polèse, 2009 , p. 22).
  8. Even though the Commission was set up by the Liberal government, its recommendations will be acted upon by the conservatives. After 20 years in power – from 1963 to 1984, with a brief interruption in 1979 –, the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) will be defeated by the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (PCPC) led by prime minister Brian Mulroney, in September 1984. The conservatives of Mulroney will stay in power until 1993.
  9. This process is less polemically known as “province building” in Canadian political economy.
  10. The free trade option was criticised by many NGO’s in Ontario where the provincial government itself refused to implement the CUSFTA, but it was fully endorsed by business and government, notably in Alberta and in Quebec. In this case, both the Quebec Liberal Party and the PQ will extend their full support to a free trade agreement with the US, in 1989, and to NAFTA in 1994, which also explains the popular support enjoyed by the free trade option in the province at the time.
  11. April 7, 2017, all 14 governments signed the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) which replaces the AIT. It will come into force, July 1st .
  12. Two caveats are in order here concerning this expression : the first pertaining to the fact that, because of differences in size between the three NAFTA partners, the notion of « deep integration » has little relevance in the US context and applies exclusively to its two partners. The second observation concerns the expression itself which, in the present case, bears little resemblance to the classical definition according to which « deep integration » refers to an economic integration that goes beyond the removal of trade barriers to trade towards the mutual recognition and subsequent harmonization of regulation and norms. In the present instance, deep economic integration has little to do with harmonization understood as an agreement between parties to adapt their respective norms to a common rule or principle, but rather with the unilateral adjustment, on the part of both partners, to U.S. norms and standards.
  13. From the North American Forum on Integration (NAFI/ FINA) website : langue=eng&menu=integ#est
  14. Unemployment will reach 14% in 1983 and in1993.
  15. A first container terminal was inaugurated in 1968 while a second will open in 1987, almost twenty years later. Adding to the harbour’s woes, this is also the time when transatlantic passenger ships are being faded out, while cruise liners are not yet in vogue. Employment in port facilities will drop from 4 000, in 1961, to 2 600, in 1981, to a mere 750, in 2001.
  16. Employment in rail services will fall from 220 000, in 1961, to 20 700, in 1981, and 5 800, in 2001. In 1996, Windsor station, a historic landmark in downtown Montreal will be closed, and the Canadian Pacific will move its headquarters to Calgary.
  17. Many of these companies prospered thanks to government contracts and, in the case of the labour funds, thanks to appropriate government legislation. 1
  18. This is an example of a smart border program: “Applicants must pass several security checks, including providing biometric data for identification, before they can participate. Once approved, they can move across the border using dedicated lanes, but remain subject to random checks”. Online :ttp:// features/customs-smart-borderplans-moving-towardsimplementation/
  19. Stephen Harper will be prime minister of Canada from February 2006 until November 2015, when the Conservative Party of Canada will be defeated by Justin Trudeau’s LPC.
  20. On line: https:// plane.pdf
  21. “Canada will need to continue to innovate and shift to higher-value-added activities to maintain a competitive advantage and create better jobs. We cannot simply rely on our traditional strengths or past expertise. We must continue to renew and maintain a long-term comparative advantage by specializing in higher-value-added parts of the global supply chain” (Advantage Canada, p. 17).
  22. “Strategically located gateways and border crossings play a vital role in fostering Canada’s competitiveness. The bulk of our trade with the rest of the world flows through a number of key gateways and border crossings. For example, 28 per cent of merchandise shipments between Canada and the United States pass through the Windsor-Detroit Corridor. The Port of Vancouver is seeing rapidly growing container traffic with the Asia-Pacific region. The ports of Montreal, Saint John and Halifax are also important trade terminuses. Our national economy—and our ability to compete and succeed on the world stage—are highly dependent on the efficiency of these gateways to world markets » (Advantage Canada, p. 68). The notion of gateway had already been in use under the Liberal governments.
  23. Advantage Canada, p. 70.
  24. Idem, p. 86.
  25. See Government of Canada, Seizing Global Advantage. A Global Commerce Strategy for Securing Canada’s Growth and Prosperity, 2008.

26 Government of Canada, The GATEWAY AND CORRIDOR Transportation in the global economy, 2012. On line: http://www.canadas nationalpolicyframework/ nationalpolicy3.html

27 See: National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors, 2009, p. 4. On line: http://www.canadasgateways. NationalPolicyFramework.pdf

28 See Canada/US Comparison of Foreign Trade Zone Related programs & Policies, Final report, 31 mars 2009, p. 13: ”National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors included objectives to: (i) market Canada’s gateway advantage abroad; (ii) integrate Canada’s trade and transportation policy directions; and (iii) create a systems approach to investment, planning and policy development”.

29 See “Foreword” by John Baird, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors, On line: http://www.canadas policyframework/ nationalpolicy2.html

  1. This was the CMM’s 7th cluster; the 8 others are: Aerospace, Aluminium, Cinéma and TV, Fashion, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Information technologies, and Clean technologies. They bring together some 12 000 companies which account for 25 % of metropolitan Montreal‘s employment. For Porter (1998). In the fifties, the reverse prevailed: Montreal had a population of one million, while the suburbs combined had 400 000. Presently, the population of the suburbs exceeds that of Montreal by 300 000, creating a fiscal imbalance for the Montreal taxpayer who bears the , burden of economic and social expenses due, notably, to urban sprawl, environmental deterioration and over-extended social services, etc.


  1. This expression refers to the 15 cities (with a sizeable concentration of anglophones) that were allowed, in 2005, by the liberal government of Jean Charest (2003-12) to “demerge”, i.- e. to opt out of the “one island, one city” project spearheaded by the PQ government in 2000 under Bill 170 (Loi portant sur la réforme de l’organisation territoriale municipale des régions métropolitaines de Montréal, de Québec et de l’Outaouais, 2000, ch. 56 ). See: F. Cardinal (2000).
  2. The discrepancy between the totals (91 – 10 + 3 = 84) seems to be due to the diverging status of municipalities depending on their being part of yet another entity called Regional county municipalities (RCM) or considered “equivalent territories”.
  3. Each borough has a mayor and the mayor of the city is also mayor of the downtown VilleMarie borough for a total of 19. Each borough is composed of no fewer than 5 councilors for a total of 46. There are also 38 borough councilors.
  4. For the agglomeration, the 31 representatives are the mayor of Montreal, 15 members of the Montreal City council, and 14 mayors of reconstituted municipalities, the city of Dollar-des -Ormeaux, because of its size, is allowed an extra representative.
  5. The list includes: the mayors of Montreal (+ 13 members designated by the city Council), of Laval (+2), of Longueil (+2), as well as 4 mayors from the North shore and 4 from the South shore. The members of the executive are the mayors of Montreal and of 3 boroughs on the island, the mayors of Laval and of Repentigny on the North shore, the mayors of Longueuil and of Candiac on the South shore.
  6. These lists are not complete. Only the fields pertinent to our study were noted here.
  7. The third of its kind. The two previous ones covered the years 2010-2015 and 2005- 2010. The Plan is also the outcome of a series of initiatives, viz. the Greater Montreal Innovation Strategy, 2007; the Mission Statement for the setting up of clusters, 2007; the Greater Montreal Master Plan for FDI, 2011-15; the Plan for the reception of Strategic Talents, 2011- 15; and, finally, the Strategy for the Development of industrial Spaces, which was part of the Action Plan of the Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement (PMAD), adopted in 2013.
  8. The 8 are: (i) a low productivity level; (ii) a low level of university graduation; (iii) inefficiency between labour supply and business needs; (iv) low private investment: (v) underdevelopment of new industrial spaces; (vi) deficiencies in transport infrastructures; (vii) unfocused positioning at the international level; and (viii) underdevelopment of creative industries. The low level of university graduation mentioned above is quite worrisome considering the fact that the Board of Trade promotes the city as the second most important university city in North America after Boston with a total of 170 000 students, 20 000 of them foreign students.
  9. This referred to the incompatible strategies put forward at one time by the city of Contrecoeur and the city of Vaudreuil respectively, whereby the first promoted itself as an extension to Port of Montreal on the South shore, while the second sought to position itself as a railway hub with a direct access to the US bypassing Port of Montreal altogether. The CMM has since reached out in order to integrate both projects in its overall strategy.
  10. In French: GEM-Mtl, Gouvernance économique métropolitaine-Montréal.
  11. The Observatory draws up the scorecards that provide a follow-up on the implementation of the various plans adopted by the MMC.
  12. See note 32.
  13. Bowing down to historical and linguistic constraints, one hospital is located in the western part of the city – le Centre universitaire de santé McGill / McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – , the other in the eastern part – the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). But it took three committees and 3 years of debates to decide where to locate the CHUM, either close to U. of M. or to UQAM. The latter site was finally chosen by the minister of Health and Social Services at the time, Philippe Couillard. True to tradition, both projects have exceeded their planned budgets considerably, up to $1,3 billion and still counting for the MUHC, and over $2 billion and still counting for the CHUM.
  14. Government of Quebec, Stratégie maritime. The Maritime Strategy by the Year 2030. 2015-2020. Action Plan, June 29, 2015. The MS promotes itself as “ a linchpin of The Quebec Economic Plan” (p. 67). On line: strategiemaritime. The Plan was first presented in the Budget 2014-2015, and the MS figures prominently in the two budgets that followed, and in the 2017-2018 Budget. The Québec Economic Plan (QEP), as well. Note that the QEP is intended to “complement” the Plan Nord (Northern Plan) covering the northern part of the province above the 49th parallel tabled by the Charest government, in 2011, but the connection between the two initiatives is still wanting. On line: http:// http://www.budget. budget/2017-2018/en/ documents/economicplan _march2017.pdf
  15. “A logistical hub is a multimodal industrial park that mainly assembles businesses and distribution centres that engage in logistical operations to ensure the efficient distribution of goods on domestic and international markets”, (MS, p. 33). In French: “Zones industrialoportuaires”, or ZIP.
  16. “An industrial port zone is an industrial zone near port services but also includes road and rail infrastructure. Such proximity offers businesses a significant comparative advantage, especially manufacturing concerns. From the standpoint of logistics, an industrial port zone enables the companies established there ready access to inputs and accelerated transiting of the goods produced to North American and international markets” (MS, p. 35). The listing of the zones was established by the Department of Economie, Science, Innovation. On line: https://www.economie. recherche-et-innovation/
  17. Previously known as Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (FATDC), and earlier, as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).
  18. The notion of “value chain” which occupied a prominent role previously, is mentioned but once in this chapter.
  19. Seven superclusters are enumerated: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, health/biosciences and clean resources, as well as infrastructure and transportation. See on line: ocs/plan/chap-01-en.html
  20. “Investments will target congestion and inefficiencies at marine ports such as Vancouver (…) and Montréal (critical to the success of Canada’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union), as well as along the busiest rail and highway corridors around the Greater Toronto Area and other urban centres across the country. Budget 2017 proposes to provide $2 billion over 11 years to support the Fund’s activities. At least an additional $5 billion will be provided through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to address trade and transportation priorities.” See on line: ocs/plan/chap-02-en.html
  21. See on line: http:// nbcp-n


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