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Foundation of Greater Montreal unveils major challenges of our community.



Montreal, October 5 2010 – The Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM) today released its fourth annual check-up on the health of Greater Montreal entitled Greater Montreal’s Vital Signs 2010. At the same time, fifteen other community foundations across the country issued their local report cards.
 
Vital Signs presents a statistical outlook on different sectors of community life such as work, the gap between the rich and the poor, learning, health and wellness, housing, getting around, safety, the environment, arts and culture, getting started in the community, as well as belonging and leadership. Vital Signs bears witness to the vitality of the communities that comprise Greater Montreal while emphasizing the city’s major challenges.
 
 “Vital Signs epitomises the mission of a community foundation such as ours. This report is an excellent opportunity for us to build bridges, and to exchange information with other organizations. It is the essence of what we do. “ says Marina Boulos-Winton, president and CEO of the FGM.  “Vital signs will inspire and guide our community in its philanthropic actions.”
 
Some statistics are alarming, notably in the education and health sectors. The graduation rate at the secondary level is 62% among francophones, compared to 82% among those Montreal students whose daily language is Vietnamese. As for post-secondary studies, the situation is hardly better. The Greater Montreal area ranks 29th among 31 North American metropolitan regions with only 26.5% of its population earning a university degree.
 
“We were particularly struck by these statistics. What value do we truly give as a society to education?” asks Marina Boulos. “The Foundation of Greater Montreal will take a serious look at these problems. We wish to be pro-active and to have a positive impact on these persistent issues.”
 
Last June, the FGM handed out $1.7 million in grants to Greater Montreal organizations, and it foresees a continuing growth in this amount over the coming years. 
 
Here are some of the highlights of Greater Montreal’s Vital Signs:
 
·         Among large cities in the Americas, quality of life puts Montreal in 4th place, behind three Canadian cities.
·         Since its inception in 1980, the cost of a metro bus pass (CAM) represented 2.9% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income. This proportion reached 5.1% in 2010.
·         In 2009, in the region, 55.6% of the population 15 years of age and older had a diploma for post secondary studies.
·         In 2009, 16.6% of adults in Greater Montreal were obese.
·         In 2008, 18% of the population of Greater Montreal lived below the low-incomethreshold- the highest proportion in all Canadian cities.
·         Montreal has the lowest rating for experiencing a sense of belonging to its community with 54.9%. The Canadian average is 65.4%,
·         In 2008, every resident on the island produced 330 kg of household waste.
·         In 2008, cultural sector earnings totalled $12 billion.
·         In 2006, in comparison to people born in Canada, the unemployment rate for recent immigrants was 3.5 times greater in the region.
·         And more.
 
The FGM invites you to visit http://www.fgmtl.org/en/vitalsigns2010 for a more comprehensive version: A copy of the booklet may also be ordered.
 
About the Foundation of Greater Montreal
The Foundation of Greater Montreal is a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of the Greater Montreal community. It builds and manages permanent endowment funds and distributes its revenues in the form of grants to charitable organizations focused on a variety of areas, primarily health, education, social services, arts and culture, and the environment. Since 2003, the FGM has distributed over $5 million to more than 250 organizations of the Greater Montreal area.The FGM is a member of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), an organization numbering 173 community foundations that reaches thousands of communities across Canada, and whose collective assets total more than $2.9 billion. 
 
 
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Information
Chantal Vinette
Director of Communications and Marketing
Foundation of Greater Montreal
Tel. : 514-866-0808 #103
chantal.vinette@fgmtl.org