SPEAKER

Michel Merleau

Elected Reeve
Gatineau Valley Regional Municipal Council
Gracefield, QC

In May 1979, I left Le DROIT Newspaper, a daily newspaper published in Ottawa, to start a new Economic Development Corporation in Maniwaki, in cooperation with Jacques Carrière, then mayor of the City. The Upper Gatineau Region, renowned for its forests, lakes and rivers, was going through an important economic decline. The experience was quite positive mostly in getting the local leaders to work more closely together and to respect each other’s priorities.

In 1979 and during my stay in Maniwaki as Director General of the City, I was able to develop new positive working relationship with the leaders of the Kitigan Zibi Algonquin Indian Reservation, one of the most dynamic of its kind in Canada. Il was also involved in some negotiation with the leaders of the Lac Rapid Reservation, in La Vérendrye Park.

Since 1992, I have been an active member of the Council of Urban Economic Development that became the International Economic Development Council (www.iedconline.org) in April 2001.

In Febuary 2001, I joined Montreal International (www.montrealinternational.com), as Director of Development, Partners and International Affiliates. Montreal International is a public-private organization dedicated to enhance foreign investment in Greater Montreal and to increase the region’s international status. My main task was to establish strategic working relationship between MI and the more than 100 local, provincial and national economic development groups and organizations within Greater Montreal and with multinational foreign companies established in Greater Montreal.

Later that same year, I joined the Montreal Metropolitan Community, as Greater Montreal Economic Development Coordinator. In that position I kept working in close cooperation with Montreal International and other major organizations and Government Agencies in establishing Greater Montreal’s Economic Development long term Strategy.

In 2003 and 2004, I was a guest speaker at IEDC’s and EDCO (Economic Development Corporation of Ontario) Spring and Annual meetings, on the topic of Crisis Management in Economic Development. In 2002, I acted as co-coordinator with Arnold Beaudin, then Chief Economist at Montreal International, on behalf of the Greater Montreal delegation to the National Summit on Innovation held in Toronto. In the winter edition of Economic Development Journal of IEDC, I published an article entitled “In the new Greater Montreal”, an article on defining the right issues for the region.

Over the past two years I have been invited to speak on various topics related to Municipal Government, Sustainable Development and Community Relations on behalf of both Municipal Unions in the Province of Quebec (Union des municipalités du Québec et la Fédération québécoises des municipalités) and other non for-profit organizations.