Speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal
Guy Cormier emphasizes the need for responsible, sustainable and
people-focused economic development
Montreal, May 29, 2017 - "The limits of unfettered capitalism have become clear. The desire for short-term profit prevents us from seeing down the road and is not sustainable in the long run," said Desjardins Group Chair of the Board, President and CEO Guy Cormier today during his speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal.
"If we keep up this pace for the next 30 years, it won't be long before we see even more inequality, even more dissatisfaction, and a planet in worse shape," said Cormier.
He believes that balanced economic growth must come from different sources: investing in intellectual property, reducing inequality and school drop-out rates, taking measures to improve air quality and managing water.
He went on to say that the economy and society are part of a larger whole. "And if we, in business and finance, don't take care of the social aspect....if we don't take care of the people, the issues we're dealing with today will only get worse," said Guy Cormier.
That's why he is convinced that this task will only be possible with the commitment of business people. "In your role as business leaders, your commitment will help make a huge difference. Our children and grand-children will live in the world that we're building for them today. So, we must join forces and work together for our future generations," said Cormier.
A greater socio-economic role for our businesses
According to Cormier, our economic system can only be viable if our businesses play a larger socio-economic role. Cormier also said he feels privileged to be the CEO of a major cooperative financial group like Desjardins. He seized the opportunity to list some of Desjardins's contributions to society, be it through its presence in the regions, the role of the Desjardins Foundation in helping kids stay in school, investments in renewable energy or the role that Développement international Desjardins plays in developing countries.
"We're very proud of our involvement in those areas, which is in keeping with our mission as a cooperative financial group. Very often, these recurring contributions trigger other benefits. They help build a more equal and inclusive society that is respectful of the environment. For us as a group, this in turn represents a solid foundation for our economic development!"