Friday, September 18, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Tarr and Senate President Rosenberg Lead Delegation to Quebec Conference

Boston-  A bi-partisan delegation of Massachusetts Senators will be led by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) and Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) to Quebec City this weekend to attend the Massachusetts-Quebec Cooperation Conference.  The conference is the first session of meetings scheduled between the Massachusetts legislature and the Assemblée Nationale Quebec.

A joint program with the Québec National Assembly, the conference will begin the implementation of the cooperation agreement signed last year by then-Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker Robert DeLeo. The agreement recognizes the significant cultural and economic ties between Massachusetts and Québec, setting forth a framework for cooperation at the legislative level. Sessions take place from September 19 to 21.

“There are tremendous benefits to be gained from expanding partnerships with our Canadian neighbors in areas such as trade, energy, research and others,” said Senator Tarr.  “In particular, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces have the means to generate and provide alternative energy that can boost our region’s independence from coal and oil, and I am eager to move us closer to collaboration on that front.”

“Climate change and access to clean renewable energy doesn’t stop at an international border.  Working with our partners in Quebec to share ideas, discuss future collaboration, and possible regional solutions that will benefit all of Massachusetts,” said President Rosenberg.  “I look forward to a robust discuss with our Canadian counterparts during this conference.”  

Areas of focus include tourism, economic development, energy and transportation. On Saturday, speeches will be made by Jacques Chagnon, president of the National Assembly of Québec and Senate President Rosenberg followed by working sessions and a discussion on the political and institutional situations of Québec and Massachusetts.

Sunday’s working session will focus on energy  with presentations from Jean-Yves Benoit, director of the Carbon Market Division at the Québec Ministry of Environment, and Gary Sutherland of Hydro- Québec. Monday includes a field visit regarding tourism and air travel.

Canada and Massachusetts are closely connected. Canada purchases 14 percent of all Massachusetts’ exports, supporting nearly 162,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. 25 percent of all Canadian product exports U.S. content, with that figure rising to 32 percent in sectors such as machinery and transportation equipment.