Montreal's economy has been declining for years, and the city needs more control over its own affairs if it is to thrive.
That was the main conclusion of a study released today by the Bank of Montreal and The Boston Consulting Group.
It says over the past 15 years, the GDP is over 30% lower than other major Canadian cities and the unemployment rate is 2% higher.
The study looked at seven other metropolises around the world who's economies were suffering, and pulled 10 recommendations based on what they did to get out of the rut.
Among them are, the important of attracting and retaining talent, emerging as an international leader and most of all, the groups say, Montreal needs to get special legislative status from the provincial government — essentially, more autonomy, rather than being treated on the same level as any other small town in Quebec.
It says Montreal should be given control of its infrastructure, urban development and income sources, including having special taxation powers, similar to those of Toronto.
"Cities can do things better than the provinces can, governments basically write laws, but cities need to live the effects of these laws," Jacques Ménard, president of BMO said.
Ménard said political parties need to start putting focus on the important of Montreal's economy.
He also said Montreal would be better at retaining the large number of talent that study's here if language laws and tests were more flexible.
The report says if the suggestions are put in place, with a good leader and progress being measured, the economy could turn around in ten years.
Mayor Denis Coderre, who was present for the unveiling, said he agreed with the report and would take action.
BMO and BCG interviewed 50 business heads to create the report. The seven metropolises that they looked at were: Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Manchester and Melbourne.