MONTREAL – The IPSOS Marketing survey commissioned by our political lobby group, Canadian Rights in Quebec (CRITIQ), has finally given Montrealers an opportunity to focus on a positive, proactive solution to the ongoing political, economic and social deterioration that has affected our city for more than 35 years.

The poll confirms what we have already known, which is that Montreal is different and distinct from the rest of Quebec.

What is most compelling is that these views are shared by people in all regions of Quebec.

The IPSOS survey ( was conducted over a two-week period this summer. There were three groups of respondents for a total of 1,250, divided by region: 50 per cent on the island of Montreal, 25 per cent elsewhere in the Greater Montreal area and 25 per cent in the rest of Quebec.

The findings can be summarized as follows:

1. Montreal deserves a special status within Quebec because it is a world-class, cosmopolitan city (74 per cent agree).

2. Montreal is different from the rest of Quebec (90 per cent).

3. To stop its decline, Montreal needs to take drastic steps to improve the way it does things (91 per cent).

Also of note is that there is demonstrable support for official bilingual status for Montreal, as well as a favourable view of multiculturalism as it pertains to Montreal.

Rather than complain about our current state of complacent acquiescence, we now have a positive plan that can be a win-win one, if explained properly. Quite simply, Montreal is the engine that drives Quebec and it is imperative that we put a stop to the hoarding of fuel that feeds that engine, and get Montreal firing on all cylinders.

Montreal needs more power. More power to attract and keep businesses and entrepreneurs, in order to maintain and grow what is left of this city’s once world-class reputation. More power over taxation, language, education and immigration.

This is not a pipe dream. Other examples of special administrative status, or autonomous zones, already exist, and function successfully in such cities as Singapore, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Brussels, to name just a few.

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