Premier Jean Charest visited the US capital from February 19-21 as part of a mission undertaken by the Council of the Federation, in conjunction with the winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA).
During his visit, Mr. Charest took part in working meetings with Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; and Lawrence Summers, Senior Economic Advisor to President Obama.
At a joint working meeting of US governors and Canadian premiers addressing energy and environmental issues, a number of governors publicly congratulated the Premier on Québec’s environmental policies and contributions to efforts to fight climate change. This was the first formal meeting between the Council of the Federation and the NGA, its US counterpart.
The Premier also held a private meeting with Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, to discuss high-speed train projects involving Québec. At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Charest and Mr. LaHood announced that task forces would be established in the near future to examine high-speed train projects linking Montreal with New York and Boston, with the participation of the US states concerned and the federal authorities.
In January 2010, the Government of Québec unveiled its US strategy and action plan. The strategy is built around five goals: contributing to the security of the North American continent; fostering trade; ensuring Québec’s leadership regarding energy and the environment; encouraging the sharing and promotion of Québec’s culture and identity; and increasing Québec’s capacity to take action and supporting the development of expertise.
Council of the Federation
National Governors Association
Government of Québec’s US strategy
Québec Government Office in Washington
Québec Government Office in New York