Madam Speaker, I can understand that members of the official opposition have nothing concrete to suggest for our Montreal strategy because I think they have not quite yet understood the big picture with regard to the Canadian government's intervention in the Montreal metropolitan area.
I will take a few minutes to explain our intervention in a region that is vital not only to Quebec but to Canada. When we look at Greater Montreal, it is, in many respects, the economic force behind the whole country.
I like to say this because I think it is true: Montreal is Canada and Canada is Montreal. The metropolitan area is at the heart of our history. Therefore, you will certainly understand that for the Canadian government, which I represent, the development of the metropolitan area is most important and, as such, is included in our priorities.
The government's desire for dynamic intervention in the metropolitan area must be understood and must be put in perspective. It must be understood in the sense that a modern country, a country that wants to have a dynamic economic structure and that wants to be highly competitive, must ensure that its large metropolitan areas are economically healthy.
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, these cities are all vital to our country, and they all must be in excellent financial health.
Canada is sensitive to the vitality of these cities. We have developed an intervention strategy for the Montreal metropolitan area, as we have done for other regions of Canada. As secretary of State responsible for regional development, I can talk proudly about this strategy. I think it is important for the people who are listening to me today to understand what the Canadian government means to the metropolitan area.
There are 32,500 federal employees in Greater Montreal. This means that the federal government's second largest service centre is in the metropolitan area. That is why this area so important to the Canadian government, and that is also why we can say that the federal government is a major partner in this area.
The salaries paid to these federal employees represents $732 million a year. When we are speaking about development programs, we speak about programs which cost $765 million a year. When we speak about one hundred per cent research and development programs, we are talking about interventions totalling $485 million in 1993.
Therefore, as you can see, our involvement is structured and our presence is enormous. We have chosen for the region of Montreal an essentially horizontal intervention strategy, that is, one which allows all the departments to act in a concerted way, to work, as Team Canada, for the metropolitan region in order to maximize all the different federal programs provided to Montrealers.
We did the same thing in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area. We did the same thing recently with certain regional development initiatives, such as the Gatig Fund in the Quebec-Chaudière-Appalaches region. We did the same thing when the time came to help the Lower St. Lawrence-Gaspé region with the ground fish strategy, and we are doing the same thing for other Canadian regions.
To get involved in the metropolitan area means to provide structure and to act with vision. To do this, we have chosen focuses. The Canadian government's intervention is focussed essentially on its fields of jurisdiction, on elements which may lead to a considerable and significant progress for the metropolitan area.
The focuses of intervention are as follows: the development of science and technology; the development of the metropolitan area for the international market; helping the small and medium size businesses; the development of culture and tourism industries, which are fundamental elements; and the social and economic development at the local level of the different communities of Montreal.
These are the structuring measures we are taking in the beautiful Montreal region, and I think that it is important to underline the fact that these measures come within the scope of the major priorities of the government. In 1993, we received a mandate from the Canadian people. We did what we were elected to do and the strategy, of which I just enumerated the five elements, revolves around the government's priorities.
These priorities are, of course, job creation, economic growth, helping businesses to adapt to the new economy and support for Canadian youth.
That being said, I think that we all have a basic role to play with regard to the structuring elements in greater Montreal. The Canadian government gets involved and has its strategy for the Montreal area, but I think that we must understand that the greater Montreal area concerns the Canadian government, the Quebec government, Montreal itself and all the surrounding towns and cities, as well as the private sector.
In greater Montreal there is a whole spectrum of stakeholders who have decided to work in partnership. Now, let me review our interventions with concrete examples.
In the area of science and technology, I made a speech yesterday before the members of the space industry, not the aerospace sector, but a very specific part of it, the space industry. The Canadian government has been involved in the space industry for more than 20 years. We played a major role to help an industrial area recognized not only here in Canada, but all over the world. So, when we talk about the first element, science and technology, we can say that the Canadian government has been a major partner in aeronautics, biotechnology, pharmacology, telecommunications, information technologies and multimedia.
In connection with the elements I have just mentioned, which come under science and technology, a number of companies have sprung up, thanks to the vision of the Canadian government, and thanks also to the infrastructure in the Montreal area, to the quality of the workforce, and to our vision, because we focused on science and technology.
And as for the successes we are seeing today, with respect to concrete projects, I must say that the government is rather proud to be associated with these achievements, because these companies are, in a way, one of the cornerstones of our Canadian society. I will list them for you. There is Bell Helicopter, Ericsson, Biochem Pharma, Merck Frosst, CAE Electronics, Spar, SR Telecom, Harris, Farinon, Lallemand, the Institut Rosell, and I could go on. These success stories are all because of the Canadian government's vision and its strategy for action.
Again, just recently, it was with great pride that we entered into partnership with Bombardier and Canadair in the aerospace field, with the result that the 70 seat stretch CRX jet was finally developed. This will allow us to create or maintain over 1,000 jobs in the greater Montreal area. We are focusing on partnership, and I think that one of the messages I want to get across today is that we are doing so because it is together that we are going to be able to rebuild and recreate the dynamic level of activity that Montreal has a right to expect.
Other examples. In biotechnology, there is the Biotechnology Research Institute of greater Montreal, founded in 1983, was the impetus behind a good number of technology firms that are international successes today. Think of Ibex Technologies, Bio Signal, or Quantum Biotechnolgies. The institute has such a reputation that we are now attracting international investments. There is also the Dutch company Bio Intermediair.
This has all been made possible through the National Research Council of Canada. And again, recently, proud of the assistance it has provided, proud of its contribution to science and technology, the Canadian government, through my colleague, the Minister of Industry, has announced a $20 million expansion of the institute, which will make room for 20 additional firms. This is what we mean when we talk about structuring activities.
The second area is international development: 40 per cent of the jobs created in 1995 are related to international development, the conquest of new markets by our small businesses. Naturally, we play a role by providing advice to these businesses, helping them to fine-tune their export capabilities, but we also play an international role with our added value, which is the pride of Quebecers, in the form of our network of embassies and consulates in over 126 countries, with their trade advisors, who are there to assist our small businesses.
On the international scene, we seem to forget that the Canadian government has been very dynamic in its promotion of Montreal as the site for certain secretariats. Whether with the secretariat of the North American Commission on Environmental Co-operation, the secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, or the secretariat of the Convention to Control Desertification, we have been doing our level best to help Montreal consolidate itself as an international region. And what about the Centre de conférences internationales de Montréal, which we support not only through its operating budget, but also through funding for international development.
Those are fundamental interventions, in some cases involving partnerships with the Government of Quebec and the private sector. We shall shortly be announcing Montréal international, another developmental element, one which will enable Montreal to fully assume its deserved role in terms of international endeavours.
The third concerns the development of small and medium business. The right balance between small and big business must be struck. In my opinion, announcements such as the one by Bombardier and Canadair are full of promise for small business, because they will lead to sub-contracts, which are good not just for the
metropolitan region but for all regions of Quebec, for sub-contractors are located just about everywhere in Quebec.
The Government of Canada intervenes with small and medium businesses, first of all to help them adapt to the new economic context, but also to ensure that young entrepreneurs can get help starting up and becoming competitive. We do so-and I feel this is an important point-because the new government is one which offers support and expertise, for instance via such programs as Strategis for small business.
And then we could also mention the Centre d'entreprise et d'innovation de Montréal, just another example of how we are, always have been, and will continue to be, major partners in the development of small business in Quebec.
The fourth bridge is development of the cultural and tourist industries. Such elements as the Vieux Port, the parc des Îles and the Pointe-à-Callière museum are all of importance to the metropolitan region. Tourism, for instance, represents 40,000 jobs in greater Montreal. We play our part in this sector through the Canadian Tourism Commission or the OCTGM with which we entered into a $2.5 million partnership.
In the case of local communities, we act with the greatest respect for their realities and needs in terms of development, through CDEC, for example. All those examples show that the Canadian government has been and continues to be major partner.
If you will allow me a few more minutes, I referred, as part of this intervention, to a horizontal strategy and I must emphasize the collaboration of all the federal departments, which contributed their share to metropolitan Montreal and are working in close collaboration, be it Industry Canada, Heritage Canada, Transport Canada, to name just a few.
When we refer to partnership, this means we also count on the collaboration of all stakeholders. I know that there will be a socio-economic summit at the end of this month in Quebec. In this regard, I will quote what the Prime Minister said this week when he spoke before the Montreal Chamber of Commerce. He said: "Premier Bouchard will host an economic summit. It is very important that tangible results come out of it for Montreal and the rest of Quebec". This is what the Canadian government is: a partner with a vision, a partner that lends a hand and that is present.
In short, we play our part, for instance the way we did in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. I wish to emphasize, in closing, as the Prime Minister did so well this week, that there is something important we have to do and it is to get rid of this sword of Damocles, which we have over our heads at this time and has a damaging effect on Montreal as well as on the rest of Quebec.