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Canada’s largest cities most opposed to development

TORONTO, APRIL 2, 2007 – Retailers beware! New research findings point to major contradictions that could result in significant opposition to retail developments, especially in Canada’s largest cities.

“Canadians like the big-box retail shopping experience. That’s the good news,” explains Patrick Fox, President of the Saint Consulting Group. “Yet, 58% of Canadians say they would oppose such a development in their own community.”

That number rises to nearly 70% in Vancouver, 66% in Calgary, 67% in Montreal and 63% in Toronto.

Since 2006, the Saint Consulting Group has commissioned the Saint Index© which gauges public attitudes on a wide range of real estate development issues in the United States and United Kingdom. The company’s first Canadian Saint Index points to tough times ahead for retail developers across Canada.

“Retail developers can expect significant opposition no matter in what region of the country they operate,” explains Patrick Fox, President of the Saint Consulting Group. “Seventy-five percent of Canadians say that their communities are fine the way they are or are already overdeveloped.”

Those numbers can translate into strong and vocal opposition to development plans. Fox says that the Saint Index found opposition to development reaches even higher levels in Canada’s largest cities. He notes that this number increases to 83% in Toronto, 81% in Calgary and 80% in both Vancouver and Montreal.

“To make matters worse for developers,” says Fox, “the Saint Index also found high levels of distrust for elected officials because of what Canadians perceive are their cozy relationships with developers.” In fact 87% of respondents said that a political candidate’s position on community growth is important when deciding for whom to vote.

Background on Saint Consulting and the Saint Index©

The Saint Index© quantifies and tracks the politics of land use, spotlighting who actively opposes and supports real estate-related projects and why. It was first conducted in the US in autumn of 2005 and in the UK in April 2006. The Canadian Saint Index is based on an independent survey of 1223 Canadians and is accurate to within 3.1% points 19 times out of 20.

The Saint Consulting Group began operations in 1983 and today is the global leader in land-use political consultancy. Saint Consulting has 12 offices around the US [including its headquarters near Boston], one in the UK, and a recently opened Toronto office. Among the industries that use its services are aggregates, casinos, grocery and retail, healthcare, landfills, mixed-use developments, housing, and utilities.

The Saint Consulting Group was recently named one of Consulting Magazine’s “Seven Small Jewels for 2007.”

For more information:

Or contact:
Martin Leroux
Delta Media Inc.

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