Claude Mongeau, President /CEO of CN, says Canadian business and governments must take bold steps to develop world-class enterprises that will drive the nation's competitiveness in global markets

Canada needs bold business leadership and sound public policy to ensure global competitiveness

OTTAWA, February 16, 2012 –
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE:CNI), says Canadian business and governments must take bold steps to develop world-class enterprises that will drive the nation’s competitiveness in global markets.

Mongeau, speaking to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce here today, said Canada has many of the critical resources the world needs, the capital and skills to add value to them, and the transportation infrastructure to efficiently get them to global markets.

But, to win its fair share of world markets, the nation needs greater corporate innovation and productivity, buttressed by sound public policies relying on commercial frameworks.

“The choice is clear – if Canada wants to truly succeed on a global scale, we need an environment where businesses with vision can innovate and thrive, and we all have to embrace change and look forward, not backward.”

Mongeau said the federal government’s privatization of CN, a willingness at CN to continually challenge conventional wisdom, and the successful deregulation of the rail industry in Canada combined to drive the company’s remarkable transformation, from an industry laggard based largely in Canada to a North American rail leader.

That transformation journey began with CN’s initial public share offering in 1995 and was followed five acquisitions, C$8-billion worth, that gave the railway its unique North American footprint.

CN’s business model — anchored on operational and service excellence – put the company at the fore of the rail industry. The next step in CN’s journey is to become a true supply chain enabler through collaboration, innovation, and continued productivity gains.

Mongeau said: “There are success stories in Canada, but we need more of them. Because the world is not standing still, we need to embrace change, not shy away from it. We all need to raise our play because the game is constantly getting more challenging.

“With sound public policy and a strong conviction within the business world, together we can succeed by pursuing greater innovation and productivity to ensure a bright and exciting economic future for Canada.”

CN – Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries – spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America.