Douglas meets with Quebec premiere

QUEBEC CITY-Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas traveled to Quebec City earlier this week for a series of meetings with Quebec government officials, including Premier Jean Charest, and business leaders to discuss the bilateral relationship between Vermont and Quebec.

The governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and other cabinet officials, as well as Vermont business leaders.

Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee led a group of Vermont specialty food producers who met with counterparts across the border to discuss ways to leverage local products within our region and with a focus on "Taste of Place".

Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn joined Douglas at a breakfast meeting with the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce and the Quebec City Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

Public Service Commissioner David O'Brien co-chaired the meeting of the Vermont-Quebec Green Energy and Trade Task Force. Douglas then met privately with Premier Charest.

Two agreements between Vermont and Quebec were signed: one updating a previous agreement on collaborative efforts to clean-up Lake Champlain, the other committing the two jurisdictions to work together on agri-food initiatives. These agreements will update the bilateral agreement signed by Douglas and Charest in 2003.

As chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), Douglas was honored to host the historic first meeting between the governors and the Council of the Federation, the Canadian premiers' equivalent to the NGA.

Douglas said of the meeting, "my experience working closely with Premier Charest and other Eastern Canadian Premiers has shown me the tremendous benefits of our cross border relationships. Bringing Canadian premiers and U.S. governors together, in one room, can lead to new opportunities to promote the interests of Americans and Canadians throughout our two nations."

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