January 12, 2009

For Immediate Release

Economic Development Agencies from Canada’s Large Cities Promote Cooperation and Collaboration to Attract Foreign Investment and Trade.  Realization that key investors and competitors are outside Canada inspires unified actions.

 OTTAWA ON – Jan. 12, 2009 – Economic development executives from across the country are meeting in Ottawa today to work together with invited federal government departments and agencies on a unified business attraction strategy that recognizes the dominant role of urban economies. According to members of the Canada International Work Group, Canada’s largest cities represent more than 50% of Canada’s economic activity. The focus for the Ottawa meeting – the third by Canada’s large cities in the past 20 months – will be international trade and investment.

 Economic development agencies participating in today’s meeting include the Greater Halifax Partnership, Québec City Region (PQCA), Montréal International, OCRI (Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation), the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, Canada’s Technology Triangle (Waterloo Region), Destination Winnipeg Inc., Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, Edmonton Economic Development Corp., Calgary Economic Development, and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.

 “When it comes to attracting investment from Sovereign Wealth Funds in Asia or the Arab world, or multi-national companies, Canada’s cities have much more to gain from banding together than competing against each other for growth opportunities,” said Stephen Dempsey, President and CEO, Greater Halifax Partnership. “The economic development agencies of Canada’s large cities are also ideally positioned to identify high-return projects for new Federal stimulus programs.”

 “Large cities play an increasing important role in today’s global economy,” added André Gamache, President and CEO of Montréal International. “I have been encouraged by the commitment of my peers to work together to tackle Canada’s challenges in sustainable economic development. We must turn accolades, such as comments on the strength of our financial system, into revenue, investment and jobs.”

 The economic development executives will take advantage of their meeting’s Ottawa location to hold information exchanges with various Federal economic organizations including Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), Export Development Canada (EDC) and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

While the Geneva-based World Economic Forum declared last year that Canada’s banking system ranks as the soundest in the world, Canada’s large cities can’t rest on these laurels. A Dec. 2008 report from CIBC World Markets showed the economic momentum of Canada’s cities has been softening for more than two years. Half of the decline since 2006 occurred in the last year, according to the CIBC World Markets Metro Monitor Report.


Stephen Dempsey
President and CEO
Greater Halifax Partnership
Cellular: (902) 499-7178