Within the framework of the Québec-Vermont multisectoral agreement, Premier Jean Charest received James H. Douglas, Governor of Vermont and Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), on March 10 and 11.
Governor Douglas was accompanied by a delegation of about a dozen state representatives. The purpose of his visit was to enhance economic trade and cooperation between Québec and Vermont in the areas of energy, the environment, agriculture and transportation.
“Vermont and Québec have shared interests and a common heritage, which have inspired Governor Douglas and myself to work in recent years to strengthen our ties and promote policies conducive to free and safe trade, as well as to greater economic relations in a number of fields,” explained the Premier. “Again recently at the joint meeting of the Council of the Federation and the NGA, we joined together to urge that hydroelectricity be recognized by the U.S. Administration as a source of clean and renewable energy.”
Agriculture and the environment
Premier Charest and Governor Douglas signed two agreements in the company of their respective ministers for the portfolios in question, namely a multisector cooperation agreement on information-sharing and expertise in agriculture and agrifood, and a new environmental cooperation agreement between Québec and the states of Vermont and New York on management of the waters of Lake Champlain.
Memorandum of understanding on hydroelectricity
Governor Douglas and Premier Charest announced that Vermont’s two largest electrical utilities signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 11 with Hydro-Québec, paving the way to a new power supply contract for Vermont customers.
Under the MOU, Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) and Green Mountain Power (GMP) will obtain similar volumes of electricity to those currently supplied by Hydro-Québec to meet their needs and those of other Vermont utilities. CVPS and GMP announced that they anticipate total purchases of up to 225 megawatts between November 2012 and 2038. The MOU includes a price-smoothing mechanism that will shield customers from volatile market spikes over this period.
James Douglas honoured
The Premier also took advantage of James Douglas's visit to Québec City to salute the Governor's commitment to closer economic and political ties between Québec and Vermont and his contribution to the promotion and positioning of Québec in the world, by awarding him the title of Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. This is the first time that an American governor has received this honour.
In 2009 Vermont was Québec's number-one New England trading partner and third biggest U.S. purchaser of Québec products. In addition to trade, Québec and Vermont work closely together within the framework of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers. Under their leadership, the Conference has adopted landmark resolutions in areas such as energy and the environment.
Press release – Economy and agrifood
Press release – Memorandum of understanding on hydroelectricity
Québec government’s U.S. strategy
Relations between Québec and the United States