Stronger ties needed between Quebec and N.B., minister says
Fournier points to trade uncertainty with U.S. as reason for increasing ties with N.B., Maritimes
Quebec's minister responsible for Canadian relations wants to strengthen ties with New Brunswick, saying the two provinces are linked by more than a proposed pipeline.
Jean-Marc Fournier also defended the Quebec government's role in the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline on Information Morning Fredericton on Friday.
He said the issue was more nuanced than Quebec's perceived opposition to the pipeline.
"We will make our laws respected and there has to be a consultation by a body that is supposed to do that in the provinces and in fact we never had that consultation because the project was retired by the company before that happened," Fournier said.
"So nobody can say it was because of Quebec. It's because the project was never presented for a hearing by the company, they changed their decision probably because a new pipeline authorized in the United States, probably because there is a new price of gas."
The two provinces had $7 billion in trade between them last year. Fournier said they trade more goods than Quebec and France. Amid instability with the trade relationship with the United States, Quebec wants to strengthen its ties with its neighbour, he said.
"It's important as citizens of this country that we say to ourselves, let's trade between ourselves," Fournier said.
He also noted he wants to strengthen Quebec's ties the rest of the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador.
"We define ourselves as being in opposition and sometimes we have different interests, but overall we've got more and more links and ties together than interests that are opposite and we should develop that."
With files from Information Morning Fredericton