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16 Jul 2013

Railway safety on the agenda of the Southeastern United States and Canadian Provinces Alliance

Don Callis, CEO, Manitoba Trade and Investment Corporation; Minister Jean-François Lisée; and Monte Kwinter, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment of Ontario (photo : Arnie Conrod).

The Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade (MRIFCE), Jean-François Lisée, participated in the 6th Annual Southeastern United States and Canadian Provinces Alliance (SEUS-CP) Conference, held on July 14 and 15 in Halifax. He was accompanied by a Québec business delegation.

In the wake of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, the six Southeastern U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces agreed to focus on railway safety at their next meeting.

The announcement was made on Monday in Halifax by the Conference host, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Economic Development, Graham Steele, in response to concerns raised by Minister Jean-François Lisée. Mr. Steele read a statement that had received the unanimous support of the representatives and that underscores the importance of ensuring rail transportation safety. Several Alliance representatives in Halifax for this 6th Annual Conference expressed their solidarity with Lac-Mégantic residents.

Business opportunities with our neighbours to the south

“The Southeastern United States is a priority area for Québec’s initiatives. Given the region’s strong demographic and economic growth, it is essential for Québec to position itself strategically in order to take advantage of the business opportunities it has to offer,” said Minister Lisée.

In all, some three hundred government leaders and entrepreneurs from Québec, Canada and the U.S. attended this 6th Annual SEUS-CP Alliance Conference. This year’s theme was “Innovation.”

Ministerial meetings

While at the conference, Minister Lisée spoke with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Topics discussed centered in large part on strengthening our trade in the areas of:

  • medicine
  • aerospace
  • information technology
  • green energy.

The Minister also met with political leaders from Alabama, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. Their discussions provided an opportunity to explore new avenues of collaboration between Québec and these U.S. states.

Québec in the Southeastern United States

Québec has a strong presence in the Southeastern United States as evidenced by the value of trade in goods with the region, which totaled $8.5 billion in 2012. The Québec Government Office in Atlanta has been overseeing Québec’s presence in the region since 1977.


This alliance between Canadian provinces and U.S. states was founded in Montréal in 2007 to expand trade, promote bilateral investments and stimulate technological and scientific exchanges between the Southeastern U.S. states (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama) and seven Canadian provinces (Québec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador). Québec was instrumental in creating the alliance.

The Minister also supported the efforts of some fifteen Québec businesses, the largest delegation at the event, that took the opportunity to forge business ties with partners in the Southeastern U.S. and other Canadian provinces.

Québec and SEUS-CP
External trade – Québec-U.S. relations (in French)

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