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In Canada too, infra tops political agenda

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec’s Minister for International Relations think infrastructure investment is crucial to enable trade between Canada and its southern neighbour.

In a speech to investors in Montreal, Christine St-Pierre, Quebec's Minister for International Relations, tied the Canadian territory's economic success to infrastructure development and said Quebec was open for business.

Her address came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the audience at CG/LA's Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum via a video urging infrastructure investment.

“Generations ago, Canada made investments, such as the national railway and the TransCanada highway, to improve future prosperity and quality of life for every generation that followed. The time to do that again is now,” Trudeau said.

St-Pierre spent her time linking economic prosperity in Quebec with efficient infrastructure that has created jobs at home and expanded cross-border trade with the US.

She highlighted a road network of more than 30,000km that has created over 2,000 projects in planning, under development or already completed. The minister said it is this sort of infrastructure that has enabled the movement of goods between the US and Canada, mostly by truck, creating an estimated C$93 billion ($69.43 billion; €65.73 billion) in trade in 2015.

“The government of Quebec places particular emphasis on strengthening cooperation in its areas of jurisdictions with its American neighbour,” St-Pierre said. “The United States has been a consistent, loyal and strong economic partner to Quebec for centuries, and we want that relationship to grow stronger over time.”

She also highlighted Quebec's maritime strategy, a plan the province adopted to increase port and coastal infrastructure investments to improve northern communities. She said C$2.9 billion has been allocated for maritime infrastructure investment over the next five years.

Quebec's highest priority infrastructure projects will be revealed in the coming days, St-Pierre said, when the government unveils its two-year spending plan.