Collective action in local development: the case of Angus Technopole in Montreal (1).
Subject: Economic development (Forecasts and trends)
Economic development (Canada)
Authors: Fontan, Jean-Marc
Klein, Juan-Luis
Tremblay, Diane-Gabrielle
Pub Date: 12/22/2004
Publication: Name: Canadian Journal of Urban Research Publisher: Institute of Urban Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2004 Institute of Urban Studies ISSN: 1188-3774
Issue: Date: Winter, 2004 Source Volume: 13 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 010 Forecasts, trends, outlooks; 290 Public affairs Computer Subject: Market trend/market analysis
Product: Product Code: 8515300 Development; 9008000 Economic Programs-Total Govt NAICS Code: 5417 Scientific Research and Development Services; 926 Administration of Economic Programs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Canada Geographic Name: Canada; Canada Geographic Code: 1CANA Canada
Accession Number: 129248098
Full Text: Abstract

The study of an industrial reconversion site in Montreal brings the authors to look at the question of local economic development from a new perspective, issued from social movements, resource mobilization and collective action theories. In Montreal, in districts devitalized by industrial relocation, social movements have integrated the struggle for the sustainability of local communities into their repertoire of collective actions. Social movements have been the initiators of strategic choices that aim to preserve existing assets, in terms of jobs and services, of local communities. In such a context, local development appears to be a process launched by local actors who mobilize resources of various kinds and from various sources to ensure that these strategies are implemented through concrete economic investment projects. The Angus case study demonstrates that the capacity of social movements to maintain a strong leadership and be a part of the implementation process is crucial in order to keep in line with the original strategic objectives. This case study shows the characteristics of a new type of community initiative which combines endogenous and community development with business oriented projects.

Keywords: Montreal, Social Movements, Resource Mobilization, Collective Action, Local Development, Community, Angus Technopole


L'etude d'un cas de reconversion productive dans un quartiers industriels de Montreal amine les auteurs a poser la question du developpement economique local sous un nouvel eclairage, celui des mouvements sociaux, de la mobilisation des ressources et de l'action collective. A Montreal, dans les quartiers desttructures par la delocalisation industrielle, les mouvements sociaux ont integre a leur repertoire d'actions collectives la lutte pour la viabilite des communautes locales. Les mouvements sociaux sont a l'origine de choix strategiques qui cherchent a preserver les acquis des communautes en terrnes d'emploi et de services. Dans un tel contexte, le developpement local apparait comme un processus amorce par des acteurs locaux qui mobilisent des ressources de nature et origine diverses pouvant assurer la raise en oeuvre de ces strategies par des projets concrets d'investissement economique. Mais, comme le montre l'etude du cas d'Angus, la capacite des mouvements sociaux d'assurer un leadership fort et de faire pattie du processus de raise en oeuvre est essentielle pour assurer que ces projets concrets respectent les objectifs strategiques d'origine. La recherche montre l'existence d'un nouveau type d'initiative commnunautaire, qui n'est pas fonde exclusivement sur la communaute, ni sur la dimension affaires, mais qui combine les deux dimensions dans une nouvelle forme de developpement local.

Mots cles : Montrdal, mouvements sociaux, mobilisation des ressources, action collectives, developpement local, communaute, Technopole Angus


Over the last two decades, studies on local economic development have shown a reversal of points of view. As the 1980's saw the emergence of new theories based on endogenous and social oriented strategies, in more recent years this vision has evolved, and more attention has been paid to the business dimension of local initiatives, even of social ones. In the context of the 1990's and recent 2000's, because of the new characteristics of the world economy (Veltz, 199e; Scott, 2001; Sassen, 2002), the competition between territories increased and social actors have been induced to compete for exogenous investments. While in the 1980's, the first theoretical works on local development insisted on the importance of social mobilization per se, as an empowerment strategy (Friedmann, 1998), the end of the 1990's and the 2000s brought new views, which highlights the importance for local actors to mobilize themselves in order to offer new economic competitive advantages (Fontan, Klein & Levesque, 2003).

Our paper addresses this theoretical and empirical change. We are going to emphasize the fact that local actors are confronted to limits which they did not suspect at the beginning of the 1980's but which brought them to transform their action. They realize that beyond the local boundaries, there are forces that can be mobilized for the benefit of their community. We advance the hypothesis that the social mobilization of marginalized local communities or those in the process of being marginalized is a social reaction whereby the social actors are attempting to compensate for the lack of capitalistic resources in their territory. In this way and in order to improve local residents quality of life, these actors put in action productive or economic projects. Our theoretical perspective is based on the paradigms developed in sociological works on collective action, on the basis of the resource mobilization theory; from classic authors such as McCarthy & Zald (1973), Oberschall (1973), Tilly (1984) as well as some more resents such Melucci (1992) and Cefai & Trom (2001).

Our empirical demonstration is based in a case study, the case of Angus Technopole, which is one of the largest industrial development projects in Montreal and has been initiated by a local and community action. This project can be seen as a laboratory where Montreal socio-economic actors are able to test out a different means of sparking socio-economic growth. By studying this case we will be able to show that social movements can have a structuring effect, especially in terms of strengthening local identities and carrying out strategic objectives.

The Angus Technopole, is the result of the work done by a Community Economic Development Corporation in the city of Montreal in order to revitalize a territory strongly affected by a high unemployment rate in the 1980's and to create jobs for the local community. As such, this project can be seen as a laboratory where Montreal socio-economic actors have been forced to test a different mode of socio-economic development. By studying this project, we want to show that a socio-economic movement can have a structuring effect for developing local strategic objectives.

Our paper is divided in five sections. The first presents our conceptual framework inspired by the theory of social movements, more precisely the theory of resource mobilization. The second section summarizes the crisis that affected Montreal in the 80s and the effects of it over the transition of social movements through economic oriented collective actions. The third section presents the methodology of our case study. The fourth section describes the Angus Technopole and its evolution, showing how this case supports our thesis of an evolution of theory and collective action towards a new view of local and community development. The last section analyzes the project and emphasizes the link between social movements and economic development and the merge of two visions in a blended new strategy of local development.

Social Movements' Economic Involvement: A New Sphere for Collective Action

The economic crisis in old industrial areas in aging industrial cities is a relatively widespread process in North America. This crisis has resulted from a series of factors linked to production, transportation and consumption, and that are operating on both an intra-urban and continental level (Scott, 1999). This series of factors, which is at the root of the growth of city peripheries at the expense of core areas, is associated with globalization and structural changes in the economies of North American cities (Mitchell-Weaver & al., 1999). The crisis in old industrial areas is triggering economic devitalization in the communities that live in them, but it can also lead to their social revitalization if they mobilize to preserve their existing assets. This is where social mobilization comes in and where social actors mobilize resources in order to attain an objective, which is social revitalization. The mobilizations may thus play a beneficial role in decisionmaking regarding the location of economic activities. The study of these mobilizations leads to the recognition of a type of social movements that are rooted in local communities (Klein, 1997; Tremblay & Fortran, 1994).

The emergence of a collective action of social mobilization is generally linked to a crisis, that is to say, the feeling on the part of individuals of a sense of socioeconomic marginalization or sociopolitical fragmentation that negatively affects them. Through the combination of various elements, these individuals succeed in forming a social group centered around a goal aimed at ending this process of marginalization and fragmentation. These individuals' recognition that the fact of not having access to decision-making mechanisms is hurting them gradually leads the group to consider it entirely legitimate to support a group leadership that is able to contest the established power structure. The strength of a collective action is linked to the contesting group's organizational capacity and the impact of the cause pursued on the general public. The public dissemination of a social cause helps a social movement to emerge, crystallize and become institutionalized, which transforms the opposition movement into a structured social movement, with clearly-defined opponents, spokespersons, organizations and goals.

Based on the work of Tilly (1984), it can be said that social movements develop in parallel to overall developments in society, which is expressed by a repertoire of collective actions that is structured in the context of the development of modernity, and that is now expanding in accordance with an ever-more-present global society. The modernization and globalization of societies is generating a very diverse range of social movements (Castells, 1997). Some social movements evolve from an attitude of confrontation and protest against the State and business to an attitude of promotion of the local in the face of the dominant actors (Hamel, 1991). They are fighting for equity, but also for difference, and are producing a sense of group belonging by recreating a sense of community belonging (Melucci, 1993).

Collective actions assign a different meaning to local spaces and local economic development than that given to them by the institutions of power, especially when they denounce and oppose the distancing between the logic of production and the logic of social reproduction imposed by globalization (Melucci, 1992). Due to economic destructuring (industrial relocation, demographic devitalization, gentrification), the centrality of certain repertoires of collective action has become obsolete. For example, strikes are among the tools used by the labor movement: they were the dominant repertoire of action during the Fordist period. Strikes are sometimes still an effective tool for winning one's cause, but cannot always be used in the present economic context (Tremblay & Rolland, 2003). When companies in an old industrial area close one after another, strikes are no longer possible because the site of confrontation has disappeared, so has the opponent (Fontan & Klein, 2000). The populations involved must then delve into the social imagination to discover, test out and institutionalize new modes of action, that is, to invent new repertoires of actions. It is in this perspective that social collaboration and economic partnerships are entering the repertoire of the actions of social movements (Klein, 1992: Hamel, 1995).

The collective actions of social movements in urban areas have changed, evolving from the attack and questioning of inequalities as well as pressures for better conditions for the exercise of democracy to the struggle to preserve community assets in terms of services and jobs. The scale of these collective actions has also changed, moving more towards demands at the local level, as shown by social movements' involvement in local economic development corporations in Montreal (Favreau, 1995: Tremblay & Fontan, 1994). New spheres of collective action have emerged in underprivileged urban areas, including the struggle to strengthen citizenship, the struggle to reintegrate the most disadvantaged into the job market, the struggle for equity in terms of public investments, and the struggle against the relocation of production activities or public institutions. All of these demands are directly associated with the viability of local communities as places in which to live and work (Klein, Tremblay & Dionne, 1997).

A key question, however, is whether local development is limited to what can be done locally by local actors. This question is at the heart of the debate on local development. When we attempt to answer this question, the perspective of resource mobilization seems to be especially enlightening. In this case, resources obviously refer to financial resources, but also to the participation of leaders, the potential for support, volunteers, professional expertise and, especially, the organizational capacities of the performers of collective actions. In the case of the issues examined here, what is at stake is the resources present within a local community. Thus, although we agree with arguments that give the community a central role in local development, we believe that restricting local development to the endogenous resources of the local community is too limited a viewpoint.

In our view, collective actions aimed at local development are occurring in a context where local actors are not isolating themselves in a local and strictly endogenous vision of development. The examination of a variety of collective actions shows that local development does not mean turning in on oneself(Klein, Fontan & Tremblay, 2001; Tremblay & al. 2002). Local actors are in fact demanding more than a simple appropriation of abandoned resources and relinquished responsibilities. They are demanding full participation in the management of society by calling for the State and decision makers to change their attitudes and behaviors towards marginalized communities and territories or :hose in the process of being marginalized. Local development carries a strong political demand for fuller citizenship and greater democracy. This can be seen by looking at social movements in Montreal, especially at the Angus Technopole case, which we will examine in this paper.

Montreal's Reconversion and Collective Action

It is quite evident now that the Montreal metropolitan region is in a process of conversion. After a lengthy crisis, Montreal is in the process of completing a trend of conversion to the new knowledge-based economy. The transition into this new economy occurred quite naturally in some suburbs, such as Laval (Gingras, 2001) or Saint Laurent (Rousseau & al., 1998). These areas successfully developed "technopolitan" strategies, as they specialized in high-value-added and high-tech sectors such as aeronautics, bio-pharmaceuticals and telecommunications (Klein, Tremblay & Fontan, 2003). But the inner city especially the district's first industrial areas on the periphery of the downtown core, was hard hit by the effects of this change. This has resulted in specific problems and issues in these areas, which we call "pericentral" areas (Klein & al., 1998).

The industrial function that once characterized the pericentral areas was gradually relocated elsewhere, with severe effects on these areas. Begun in the 1950s and intensifying in the 1970s, the relocation of the industrial sector from these areas triggered all the problems associated with social and urban destructuring. Residents in these pericentral neighbourhoods experienced major economic and social problems. Unemployment, low incomes, low level of education and population loss are at the root of substantial social problems. In the 1980s, the severity of the problems affecting the pericentral areas soon provoked a social reaction (Hamel, 1991).

The awaked communities produced social mobilizations, in order to bring a new dynamism to their neighbourhoods. Local actors demanded the necessary resources from the State to ensure the revitalization of their communities. One of the main outcomes of these mobilizations has been the creation of Montreal's Local Economic Development Corporations (Corporations de developpement &'onomique communautaire, better known as CDEC) (Fontan, 1991; Morin & al., 1994). Moreover, many corporations and organizations promoting local development have been set up, some as a direct result of the CDECs and others on their own.

The CDECs are structures that operate in the various City of Montreal districts. These organizations' intervention methods obviously differ based on the characteristics of their communities, but also based on the strength of their social embeddedness. Especially in the pericentral neighbourhoods, from which they emerged, the CDECs have become major players in the sphere of local economic development.

So the relocation of manufacturing firms that had once been located in the central neighbourhoods did not only have destructuring effects. It also prompted the emergence of a wide range of organizations devoted to rehabilitating these areas. These organizations are of various types, linked to what is commonly referred to in Quebec today as the "new social economy" (Levesque, Bourque & Forges, 2001), were the Angus Technopole, our case study, is embedded.

Method of research: A Case Study

Our analysis of the Angus Technopole was conducted over a ten-year period. We relied on two basic methodologies. On the one hand, we did a documentary research, individual interviews as well as focus groups with participants in the Angus project and members of various committees of the Community Economic Development Corporation of the district of Rosemont. This was done in the context of a comparative analysis with three other cases of local initiatives (2), in order to highlight similarities and differences and to try to identify the essence of evolution of local development in the years 1990 and 2000. On the other hand, we spent a long period of action-research (1992-1996) (3) and observant participation (1998-2002) in the Angus project. We thus have direct information from a large number of actors of the Angus Project, of the Community Economic Development Corporation, of the City of Montreal, as well as members of the Employment Committee, which was for some time at the center of the project. All this information was analyzed and written up into a case study and compared with other cases in the analysis. Let us now turn to the case study.

Also, two students did their master thesis about this case under the direction of the team. One student followed one specific committee on employment issues as an observer of all meetings. She also did interviews with participants in the committee and sub-committees on the dynamics of mobilization, interests of various parties from outside the Community Economic Development Corporation and Angus Project per se (that is members of the financial and educational communities and businesses who sat on this specific committee over a 2 year period). The other one dealt with the historical and territorial evolution of the case. This student carried up several interviews with main socio-economic and political actors at the local and metropolitan scale (4).

The Angus Technopole: A Case of Resource Mobilization for Local Development

In February 2000, in a ceremony attended by government and social representatives as well as nearly a thousand people, the Angus Development Society (Societe de developpement Angus: SDA) inaugurated an industrial mall, the first facility in the Technopole developed on the site of the old Angus Shoos. This event marked the end of a saga that began with the 1992 closing of the Angus Shops by the owner, Canadian Pac(fic Railway (CP), and which we will summarize here.

Located on a site of nearly 500,000 [m.sup.2], the Angus Shops had specialized since 1904 in the manufacture of locomotives and railcars for the railway industry, so that they represented an important milestone in the industrialization of Montreal and Canada as a whole. The shops' production declined over the years. From a maker of locomotives and railcars, they became a repair and maintenance facility, and of the six thousand jobs required to ensure production in the postwar years. (5) there were barely more than a thousand left at the time of the final closure. The abandoned site where this company had operated stood as an acute reminder of the problem of conversion.

The Angus Shops were part of the CP industrial corridor, one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing firms in Montreal (Illustration 1). Their closing represented the end of the decline of CP's activities in Montreal and of the gradual dismantling of the various rail networks. (6) Although the line is still used and several of the industries along it are still operating--the industrial corridor employs approximately 15,000 people (7)--many facilities such as the switching yards, repair shops and branch lines are no longer in use. A number of actors are involved in conversion of the disused lands. The most important are CP, the company that owns the site, and the Socicete de developpement Angus (SDA), created by the CDEC Rosemont--Petite-Patrie. In addition to these actors, there are the City of Montreal, which controls land use through zoning regulations, and the federal and provincial governments, which have financial resources and programs applicable to conversion of the site. From the start, the site conversion set the community, represented by the CDEC, against the owner of the property, that is, CP (Canadian Pacific Railway). On the one hand, CP wanted to develop a huge residential complex. On the other hand, the CDEC was promoting an industrial revitalization project aimed at creating jobs for local residents. In 1992, the CDEC made redevelopment of the Angus site its main priority, which resulted in it setting up a working committee which in 1995 became an independent organization, the SDA. Although connected to the CDEC, this organization is autonomous and has its own board of directors, whose members include local community representatives as well as powerful financial partners.


The Angus Technopole project is the outcome of a lengthy process that began with the conflict between the local community and CP. The conflict exploded as soon as the facilities were shut down, when CP wanted to have the zoning regulations changed in order to convert the site to residential and commercial use. The CDEC mobilized local actors and residents against this project. Without the residents' consent, this change was impossible, especially since the City of Montreal favored, in its master plan, strengthening the industrial vocation of this sector. Due to community opposition, CP was thus unable to carry out its residential project.

After an intense round of negotiations, the two main actors modified their respective projects and reached a compromise. The site was divided into two parts. CP ceded the western portion of the property to the SDA, that is, some 250,000 [m.sup.2]. In return, the SDA and the community agreed not to dispute the zoning change required for CP to develop its residential project on the other par: of the site. (8) As these two projects were being launched, that is, the industrial project and the residential project, the SDA and CP continued their negotiations until a final agreement was signed in 1998, when the SDA then proceeded to acquire a first section of the property. The site development work was begun, and should continue for about ten years. The total cost of the work has been estimated at $250 million.

The first phase of the work involved converting some of the existing facilities into an industrial mall, which was done in 2000 (Illustration 2). After that, a second building was erected in 2001 and two others in 2002, one of them for bio-technology businesses. A new building, which will be specialized on social-economy businesses, is planned for the end of the year 2004. Most of the available surface area has been rented. In January 2004, 26 companies, for almost 500 jobs, operating in various sectors were installed in the technopole (Table 1).


It is important to mention that the question of land ownership was crucial to development of the Angus project and in terms of the SDA being able to maintain its leadership in the project. Because it owns the property, the SDA holds two important cards in negotiations with its financial partners. On the one hand, it owns an asset evaluated at nearly $15 million, allowing it to establish itself as a powerful partner. And, on the other hand, it is the project manager and is therefore in relation with the city hall and the two levels of government, having built its legitimacy as representative of the local community.

The strategy adopted by the Angus project developers aims at making the most of the asset represented by the social and organizational density of the community (density of relations) in order to counteract the tendency of industrial firms to locate in the suburbs. The SDA has thus adopted a proactive strategy, supported by strong leadership from local socioeconomic organizations. In concrete terms, in the neighborhood where the project is located, this leadership is bringing a number of organizations and mechanisms into play representing both residents and the business community in order to develop resources (fiscal advantages obtained from the provincial government for example) and attract firms.

From this point of view, it can be said that the SDA has chosen to develop the site by attempting to reproduce business location factors generally associated with the new economy (Tremblay & Rolland, 2003). It proposes services that foster innovation and synergy around a collective learning process (Fontan & Yaccarini, 1999). It tries to set up the conditions to establish cooperative networks, on the one hand between companies, and on the other hand between companies and community socioeconomic organizations, whether from inside or outside the area (universities, training centers, unions, research centers). To achieve this, the SDA counts on institutional support from main leaders from the Montreal business and social community (9).

The development of a project seeking to attract businesses associated with the new economy into a devitalized community such as Rosemont raises the question of the human resources. What can be done to ensure that the local workforce and thus the local community benefit from the infrastructures set up and the businesses established? To gain an overall profile of the neighbourhood's workforce and its training needs, the CDEC set up a working group called the Comite de Relance Angus (Angus revitalization committee (10)). This committee was set up in the context of an agreement between the federal and provincial governments targeting labour force retraining. Made up of representatives from various socioeconomic sectors (academic institutions, private companies, government institutions, financial institutions, community organizations and trade unions), this committee, which operated from 1995 to 1997, was mandated to identify basic, occupational and professional skills in the local community as well as training deficiencies, which led to the development of a strategic plan aimed at socioeconomic integration of social strata that had been excluded from the labor market.

One of the committee's recommendations was to set up companies to assist in reintegrating the labor market. The SDA thus invested in two such initiatives. The first was the Centre integre deformation en environnement et recyclage d'ordinateurs (CIFER) (integrated environmental training and computer recycling center). (11) This company's workers acquire expertise in computer assembly. The second was the launching of the Atelier de recyclage de bois Angus (Angus wood recycling shop), which recycles wood salvaged from the old CP facilities and buildings. The skills the workers gain in both cases should open doors for them in the regular job market, including with companies located in the Angus Technopole. In addition, with the support of the Quebec government, to encourage the hiring of the local workforce, the SDA developed a preliminary job-training program for people willing to acquire the skills required to meet the needs of companies wishing to locate on the site.

The Angus Technopole is the outcome of a typically community- based collective action, but which is not strictly limited to the local community. The project is in fact redefining the meaning of "local," in that it has prompted solidarity from the Rosemont community, but also support from many organizations from outside the neighborhood (Universite du Quebec a Montreal, SNC-Lavalin, Fondaction, Investissement Quebec, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ecole Polytechnique, etc.). The SDA has induced all the organizations involved to forge a broad partnership that mobilizes resources that are far more extensive than those of the neighborhood actors. Its structuring effect is being felt in the neighborhood around the project, but goes beyond this, in that it has succeeded in linking up actors from various backgrounds. Its impact is obviously being felt first on the neighborhood level, but also at the level of the city of Montreal, primarily on the level of the entire former CP industrial corridor. Moreover, it is interesting to note that the companies that have already located on the site, companies which, it should be stressed, have not only come from the local community, have embraced the social aspect of the project while creating productive and organizational linkages. This is proven by the fact that these companies agreed to invest strongly in training their workforce, as the SDA had hoped, which is a very different attitude from the attitude traditionally shown by Quebec firms (Tremblay, 1997). This contributes to supporting our thesis of a blend of the community and the business dimensions of the project, in a "third generation" type of community initiative. The Angus Technopole is neither an exclusively social and endogenous based project nor an exclusively business oriented one, but a project that merges both two dimensions.

Analysis: How Localized Mobilization Contributes to Economic Development

The Technopole project and the Societe de developpement Angus (SDA) emerged from the Corporation de developpement economique communautaire (CDEC) in the Rosemont--Petite-Pattie district. This project is part of a process that highlights, at times the conflict, and at times the cooperation, between social actors and local economic actors, private enterprise, the City, and government institutions. The local social actors, mobilized first by the company union and then grouped together in the local economic development corporation, demanded that the site's industrial zoning be maintained and opposed a project that, from their point of view, would have led to the gradual deterioration of the area's urban and commercial fabric, as well as to job loss and higher unemployment.

Beyond the community and business actors, the State is a key actor in the project, since it is the main financial backer. But even though the two levels of government, federal and provincial, are making a significant financial contribution to the realization of the project, the State is acting as a partner and not as a project leader. The initiative was taken by the organization representing the local community. The area's industrial function was preserved, despite the private and municipal developers' initial focus on residential use for the area. This trend was reversed through the collaboration created by the social mobilization and collective actions taking place in the community, which played a key role in reinforcing the identity of the actors and in defining the strategic development objectives. The local community set itself up as the promoter of an industrial development project. The project manager is a local community organization, but it counts on the support of numerous institutions of all kinds and benefits from programs set up by the federal and provincial governments to assist in labor force retraining and economic development.

The effect of the collective action was to help to territorially root the actors and fortify a territorial sense of belonging. Amongst the various manifestations of this, let us mention the very large participation to the large consultation that de SDA organized at the end of the 90's, the support of local leaders of various sectors of activity from the beginning of the project, as well as the strong support of the local newspaper to the Angus project, of which it is extremely proud. Residents in the Rosemont area, especially those closest to the site, were induced to identify themselves with the area's industrial past. A collective action, which at the outset could have simply been union-related and reactive, eventually won over the entire community and became proactive, through the action of the CDEC and, subsequently, the SDA, and the support of organizations from inside as well as outside the area.

As suggested by the case studied, the role of social mobilization in local economic development may be far broader than a simple reaction to projects promoted by outside developers. Social mobilization involves all local actors, to the extent, obviously, that the issues prove crucial to the community's survival. But it is their mobilization that brings out the importance of the issues and that helps to create a localized perspective that, in turn, fuels the mobilization. The effects of this mobilization on the future of the local community lie in the actors' capacity to take advantage of endogenous forces, as well as exogenous forces that may prove to be partners for local actors. These exogenous forces are public institutions, business, and social organizations.

The case shows that socially localized mobilization contributes to the development of projects that can extend well beyond the boundaries of local communities and that can have structuring effects on the entire metropolitan economy. To illustrate this, it must be remembered that from the end of the 60's to the middle of the 90's, the East of Montreal was considered as a third or fourth level zone in terms of places to invest in Montreal. In the field of national and international industry investments, it was generally not recommended to invest and situate economic activities in the East, all the more so if these investments were to be associated to the "new economy". In other words, the East of Montreal basically did not exist in the eyes of the investors. This fact is one of those that contributed to the Canadian Pacific's intent to consider the option of commercial and residential development for the Angus site. The Angus project is one of the actions developed by the Community Economic Development Corporations of the old industrial zones of the East of Montreal in order to try to change the image of the territory. In this perspective, the SDA, through the Angus technopole project, contributed largely in the transformation of the attractivity of this zone to investors in the sectors of the new economy. With the construction and localization of biotechnology firms in the Biotech building of the Angus technopole, the SDA showed that the zone was as good a place as the Multimedia City or the Laval technopole for investments in sectors of the New Economy.

The resources that mobilization has succeeded in bringing into play are not only' local, and it is here that its main contribution to local development lies. It is when the mobilization of local actors is able to bring into play resources from inside as well as outside the community, resources both private and public, individual and collective, that the developmental dynamics triggered are simultaneously in synchronicity, as well as tension, with the globalized economy.

But all locally-defined strategies, even with the participation of organizations representing the local community, do not necessarily translate into concrete projects that benefit the actors rooted in the community, as we have shown by the comparison of this case with the case of the city of multimedia, which is also carried out in Montreal (Klein, Fontan & Tremblay, 2001; Tremblay & al. 2002). Social organizations must be involved in the redevelopment process, that is, in implementing the projects, and must retain an important role in the leadership guiding these projects. The capacity to withstand economic devitalization and create projects is not enough. There must be more. There must be economic involvement by the social organizations, which raises the challenge of the mobilization of financial resources and of how these resources are targeted by social movements.

Conclusion: Towards a New Generation of Community Initiatives?

This study encourages us to look at the question of local economic development from a new angle, that is, in light of the dynamic of resource mobilization, the theoretical dimension to which we related our case study. Indeed, it is not so much the origin of the resources that is ultimately important but rather the social dynamics that make it possible for a range of resources to be mobilized for the benefit of the local community.

From this perspective, local development does not only concern the local spaces where projects are carried out, and it is not limited to local actors. Local development should instead be seen as a process launched by local actors who mobilize public and private actors of various kinds and, especially, the effects of which extend beyond the boundaries of the local. This point of view sees the local not only as a group of citizens in a limited territory, but also and especially, as a wide range of actors and actions, whose unity is forged as the social mobilizations take place, and as a political and economic level where the actors negotiate their integration into wider dynamics. This negotiation is related to a dynamics of power and relationships of strength.

This leads us to conclude to the support of our thesis of a blend of the community and the business dimensions of the project, in a "third generation" type of community initiative, that is not only a community-based endogenous development initiative (1980's type) or a business centered project (as are some liberal local development initiatives), but a project which blends both dimensions in a new mode of local development, based on resource mobilization.


(1) This paper is an updated and revised synthesis of various preliminary papers published in French. The authors' would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Quebec's FCAR fund, which funded this research.

(2) Such The Faubourg des Recollets which transformed into a City of Multimedia, the Fur District in the center of Montreal, and a project in the clothing-fashion industry. See: Fontan & al. (1999); Klein, Fontan & Tremblay (2001); Tremblay & al. (2002).

(3) About this period of action-research, see Levesque, Fontan & Klein (1996).

(4) Diego Scalzo did a masters' thesis in geography under the supervision of Juan-Luis Klein.

(5) During the Second World War, when the Angus Shops participated in the war effort, up to 12,000 people were employed in the shops' facilities.

(6) In the beginning, the Angus site extended over approximately ten million square feet (about one million [m.sup.2]). In 1974, CP unveiled plans to build a large shopping centre and a residential complex for an upscale clientele on half of the property. Presentation of this project sparked immediate opposition from residents and merchants. Finally, in 1982, after more than six years of pressure and following a consensus reached between local community representatives, the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec, these lands were sold to a paramunicipal corporation, and it was agreed that residential development of the site would have to include a proportion of 40% of public housing for low-income persons. This was a major victory for urban social movements at that time, who were struggling primarily to improve citizens' living conditions.

(7) They were 31,000 in the early nineties.

(8) CP accepted a purchase option from the SDA of 13 million, valid for ten years. It was thereby agreed that the SDA would pay for the site as it was developed and that CP would maintain ownership and environmental responsibilities for the property until the final transferral of ownership, which means that it continues to pay the property taxes and that it assumes the costs of decontaminating the site.

(9) See the list of members of the Board of Administrators of the SDA

(10) This committee is the one that was observed by the student C. Laliberte.

(11) This company recently changed its name, but not its mission. Its new name is Insertech Angus.


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Jean-Marc Fontan, Department of Sociology

Universite du Quebec a Montreal

Juan-Luis Klein, Department of Geography

Universite du Quebec a Montreal

Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, Department of Economics

Universite du Quebec
Table 1: Companies installed in the Technopole Angus

       Company            Year of        Field of action      Employees

Societe de                  1995      Angus site development     37
developpement Angus                   (NFPO)

Insertech Angus             1999      Insertion (computers)      32

Atelier Angus               1999      Insertion (wood)            5

Docushop Angus              2003      Printing services           4

Alto Design                 2000      Industrial Design          21

Flash Grafix                2000      Printing                    8

GIE Environnement           2000      Counselling Firm           12

COESI                       2000      Fine paper                  3

Cite Lab                    2001      Post-production (film)     37

Via Sat                     2001      Geomatics                  49

Octasic                     2001      Semiconductors             57

INTePLAN                    2001      Software                   20

Messagers Angus             2002      Postal delivery            10

PMT Video                   2002      Film laboratory            30

APIQ                        2002      Labor union (NFPO)          8

Helimax                     2002      Consultant in wind         17

Imagerie XYZ                2002      Multimedia                 16

OSI solutions globales      2002      Labor services--           10

Groupe Moliflex-White       2002      Multimedia equipment       23

Topigen                     2003      Bio-pharma                 10

Chronogen                   2003      Bio-pharma                  2

Mispro                      2003      Lab pet                     2

Biomep                      2003      Bio-pharma                 25

CPE Coeur de Cannelle       2004      Kinder garden (NFPO)       18

Projects Part et            2004      Restauration services      19
Part du chef                          (NFPO)

Acces cible s.m.t.          2004      Training organization      15
                                      for unemployed persons

    26 entreprises                           488 jobs
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