Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How the mighty has fallen

In the early 1960s I lived in Montreal, having been transferred there from Toronto by the oil company for which I worked. At that time, I saw the move as very positive as I would be living in Canada’s largest most sophisticated city—the commercial centre of Canada where most of the power and influence of our nation were located. Back then, Toronto was a rather staid, unsophisticated regional centre with national influence running a poor second to its Quebec counterpart.

It was, therefore, with a pang of sadness that, as I roamed the news pages today, my eye caught the last sentence of the last paragraph of a story in the Globe and Mail. I read, “Montreal, meanwhile, came in at 32 which was a slip of six positions.”

The story was about the ranking of financial centres and bemoaned the fact that Toronto wasn’t seen to have the horsepower that it once had. Apparently, the Global Financial Sectors Index—a survey of financial workers from around the world—showed Toronto had slipped a spot to 13th in this year’s rankings.

How really sad that after slipping a spot, Toronto should still be a country mile ahead of Montreal in the index. Not even a mention of Montreal until the very last sentence of the very last paragraph.

So far have Montreal’s fortunes as a financial centre fallen, that what little financial influence it now has is owed partly to our country political imperative of having a presence in Quebec. On its own merit, Montreal is a minor player on our national stage and world stage, with even upstart Vancouver edging it out by three positions.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. Montreal's decline is similar to Quebec's decline as many anglophones & alophones have left because of that provinces anti english laws.

  2. Self inflicted wound... probably terminal. Oh well.

  3. Wouldn't you agree that Toronto is increasingly becoming a government dependent left wing city? It seems that Toronto is slowly but surely evolving into a new Montreal.

  4. I don't get your point, Blame Crash. Toronto has been a left-wing city for the past two or three decades, but I don't see how it's evolving into a new Montreal--the two cities couldn't be much more different. And how is Toronto more government dependent than it's been for decades?

  5. I don’t know any city where shabbiness and dilapidation is so admired, even glorified and elevated to something charming picturesque.