Gov. Peter Shumlin and Pauline Marois, Premier of Quebec, met today in Montreal to discuss cross-border issues and sign a cooperation agreement reaffirming the close working relationship on issues critical to both governments. Among the issues included in the document, which was first signed by both entities in 2003, are economic development, energy, the environment, security, tourism, transportation, and agriculture.
"Premier Marois and I recognize that Quebec and Vermont share not just a border but also common interests and opportunities that link our two regions," Gov. Shumlin said. "I appreciate that the Premier is enthusiastic about working together to move Quebec and Vermont forward as partners to strengthen both our futures."
Premier Marois, leader of the Parti Québécois, was elected the 30th premier in September. She is Quebec's first female premier.
Among the areas of agreement included in today's agreement:
* Continued study of issues impacting Lake Champlain, including environmental challenges and flooding issues.
* Improving transportation networks and higher-speed train options, maintaining smooth border access, and technology exchange.
* A commitment to continuing the Electric Vehicle Corridor connecting Montreal and Vermont, and points south.
* A cross-border economic initiative that includes agricultural, tourism and other opportunities.
* Strengthening energy cooperation, including continued access to Hydro Quebec power and addressing transmission challenges.
"There are many areas that link our regions and offer tremendous opportunities for progress," the Governor said. "I look forward to working with the Premier and her administration as we move Vermont and Quebec into the future."