Québec Premier Philippe Couillard was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Arctic Circle Assembly, held in Reykjavik on November 1 where he promoted Plan Nord (Northern Plan) to an international audience of academics, government officials, indigenous representatives and business interests from 40 countries.
In an address entitled “The Northern Plan: Building together an exemplary sustainable development project,” Premier Couillard outlined the key principles guiding the implementation of the Plan, a socially and environmentally responsible economic development project.
“Through the Northern Plan, we hope to develop Northern Québec’s vast potential in order to make of it an exemplary sustainable development project. It has been designed and will be carried out in a close, ongoing partnership with local communities to ensure that northern development concretely benefits the communities and protects the territory’s environment and distinctive biodiversity,” Premier Couillard noted.
International Symposium to be held in Québec City in 2015
The Premier also chose his Arctic Circle address to announce that the Québec government, in collaboration with Laval university and the Nordic Council of Ministers, will hold a conference in Québec City, the International Symposium on Northern Development, from February 25-27, 2015.
“The Symposium will provide an opportunity to engage in discussions and share knowledge, experience and perspectives of northern development. It will assemble representatives of the northern countries, businesses, the universities and local communities, including the Aboriginal nations. I hope that we can rely on your valuable expertise and collaboration to pursue the Northern Plan, a promising major project,” the Premier said when he extended an invitation to the audience.
While in Reykjavik, the Premier also met with Robert Papp, the U.S. special representative for the Arctic with whom he discussed Plan Nord and Quebec’s efforts to fight climate change ahead of the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.