Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany Pierre Arcand, Québec's Minister of International Relations, for meetings with opinion leaders in Washington, DC and New York. On June 22, we had a whirlwind tour of the capital as we met with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and my good friend Garry Douglas of the Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce.
We also had fruitful meetings with US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), during which we discussed how to increase trade between Québec and the U.S., make more renewable hydro power from Québec available in the Northeast and create interest around a high-speed rail corridor between Montréal and New York.
The Minister also gave a talk on Quebec's U.S. Strategy at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where he also met with Gordon Giffin, fmr U.S. Ambassador to Canada, fmr Rep. Lee Hamilton, now president of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.
It was a fruitful visit. Our U.S. partners in Washington are eager to work with Québec on concrete issues that have impacts on both sides of the border. And at every opportunity, the Minister drove home our key message: Québec can help the U.S. meet its challenges on a range of topics.