39th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers
At the 39th Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP), Québec Premier Philippe Couillard promoted Quebec hydropower as a viable, ecological and economical solution for the states of New England.
"Premier Bourassa chose hydroelectricity while some proposed nuclear power. Premier Jean Charest has developed new hydroelectric projects in order to ensure sufficient supply for our domestic needs, but also to use our energy as a lever of economic development. Today, Quebec is well positioned in the field. We are the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity. Our energy is clean and renewable. Our distribution network is reliable and offers competitive prices. Our government intends to build on this competitive advantage to attract businesses at home and export our energy. Electricity prices are rising in New England and New England state governors want to reduce their carbon footprint. Quebec has the expertise and experience to meet their needs, "said Premier Philippe Couillard.
The 39th edition of the NEG-ECP has also enabled the adoption of three resolutions on the fight against climate change, pre-clearance and clearance of passengers at Montreal Central Station and mutual assistance in emergencies. The resolution on mutual assistance is intended to further work to ensure fast response to incidents involving hazardous materials. The resolution on pre-clearance and clearance, presented jointly by Quebec Premier and the Vermont Governor, identifies Montreal Central Station as a project to be prioritized by Canadian and US federal authorities. Indeed, under a preclearance agreement signed last March by the US and Canadian governments, travelers to the United States will go through US Customs on Canadian soil, helping to reduce congestion and delays at the border. In regard to climate change, members of the Conference will endow a regional target for reducing greenhouse gas in 2030, 35 to 45% below the level of 1990. In addition, the Premiers and Governors will work together to ensure similar standards in the development of electrical terminals.
"The members of the NEG are true pioneers: already, in 2001, they were mobilizing in support of the fight against climate change by adopting the first Action Plan involving the states. The dialogue that we began four decades ago shows more than ever its relevance as we need to be creative to remain competitive on energy and economic plans without mortgaging the future of the next generations. Clean energy sources with low carbon emissions, such as Quebec hydropower, present themselves as a key element to ensure sustainable development in the region for the years to come, "said Mr. Couillard.
The Premier used his visit to St. Jonh's to participate in meetings to strengthen ties between Quebec and New England with his fellow premiers of eastern Canada. Mr. Couillard notably met with the Canadian Ambassador in Washington, Gary Doer, and General Consul of Canada in New England, David Alward, the governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, Governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin, Governor Massachusetts, Charles Baker, the Premier of Prince Edward Island, Wade MacLauchlan, and the Governor of New Hampshire, Margaret Hassan
Founded in 1973, NEG-ECP brings together the governors of the six states of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), as well as the Premier of Quebec and the Premiers of four Atlantic Provinces (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador). The Conference is a leading regional forum for addressing topics of common interest such as border issues, and giving rise to cooperation in several areas, such as energy, environment, trade, transport and security.
The 40th Conference of the NEG-ECP will take place in 2016 in Massachusetts.
Spokesperson for the Premier
Director of Communications
Office of Premier of Quebec
International Affairs Advisor
Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
Tel: 418 649-2400, extension 57819