PLATTSBURGH — The Quebec-New York economic relationship is important to both regions, newly appointed Quebec Delegate General to New York André Boisclair says.
The province’s relationship with New York state — and with the North Country — helps Quebec companies export to the United States but also helps create more jobs in this region, he noted. And the number of Canadian companies with North Country locations helps stabilize this area during difficult economic times.
According to Statistics Canada, New York and Quebec had $7.1 billion in bilateral trade in 2010, making the state the province’s largest trading partner.
The two sides are not fighting for a larger share of the economic pie, Boisclair said, but looking for ways to make a larger pie.
“That is a modern, efficient way to expand this (Quebec-New York) relationship,” Boisclair said.
He has already had meetings with state and local officials, including the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
When Bombardier and Nova Bus land new contracts for the Plattsburgh plants, it also leads to more engineering, design and service work at the Quebec locations of those companies, Boisclair pointed out.
Nova Bus is a prime example of how the relationship can go beyond the Quebec-New York Corridor. The company is part of the Volvo group, based in Europe.
Volvo Group uses the Nova Bus locations in Quebec for management and design of buses built in Plattsburgh. Those buses are then purchased by entities such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City.
“Quebec can be the entrance for many European companies to the North American market,” Boisclair said.
Another example is the Champlain-Hudson Power Express project. The privately funded U.S. venture would build a 1,000-megawatt direct-transmission line from near Montreal to the New York City area.
Boisclair said HydroQuebec could buy up to 70 percent of the line’s capacity to bring environmentally friendly hydroelectric power to an under-served, high-priced market at low cost.