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Continued cooperation healthy for Quebec-New York Corridor, Arcand says

PLATTSBURGH - The Quebec-New York Corridor is healthy because of a strong partnership between the United States and Canada, according to the Hon. Pierre Arcand.

Arcand, who serves as Minister for International Relations for the Government of Quebec, recently addressed a forum hosted by the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce at the Holiday Inn. During his remarks, Arcand noted having Canadian companies such as Bombardier and NovaBus operating facilities on this side of the border and American copies operating in Canada is a sign of a healthy business relationship shared by the two countries.

"We all know that we have Quebec-based companies in the Plattsburgh area; we know that there are some American companies in Quebec," said Arcand. "We should be more open than ever. At the end of the day, every time there has been a free trade agreement between [Canada and the United States], the state of New York in particular, it's been good for everybody. It's a win-win situation."

One improvement that can be made to strengthen the U.S.-Canada relationship is the development of high-speed rail transportation between the two countries, said Arcand.

"I'm very bullish on this idea. I think it's a great idea and think we have to look forward and try to make this idea happen.

There have been many obstacles along the way, said Arcand, including costs and environmental hurdles.

"I think when you look at the long run, you want to grow this area and also want this area more environmentally-friendly," said Arcand. "The idea of a high-speed train would be a fascinating idea that would be just that."

"I think this is something that can be worked out," he continued. "I feel if there's a political will, if we believe what we call the North Country strongly needs to be developed, we have to find a solution. It's our job to do it."

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