September 21, 2007
For immediate release
Minister Brown Meets with Quebec Counterpart
Development and Technology
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Prince Edward Island Minister of Development and Technology Richard Brown met recently in Quebec City with his Quebec counterpart, Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak face to face with Minister Bachand regarding issues of interest to both our provinces,” Minister Brown said. “I believe Minister Bachand was receptive to the ideas I presented and I am hopeful we can build upon what was accomplished at this initial meeting.”
Canada is entering a period of significant spending on defense procurement, the vast majority of which contains a requirement for regional spending, known as Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB).
“Most winning contractors on these bids are required to make an investment in technology sectors of the Canadian economy in an amount equal to the contract value,” Minister Brown said. “Whether it’s directly related to the contract, or indirectly related, it’s a significant amount of money, a portion of which should be spent in Atlantic Canada.
“This is a real opportunity for Prince Edward Island companies and we want to work with other provinces, including Quebec, which is the acknowledged aerospace leader in Canada. Working cooperatively with Quebec on this issue could pay significant dividends to Prince Edward Island.”
The two ministers also spoke about shipbuilding and what actions may be required to maintain and strengthen the industry in eastern Canada.
Both provinces share similar concerns regarding a recently-announced trade agreement between Canada and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the resulting negative impact it may have on the shipbuilding industry in this country.
“Some EFTA countries offer subsidies to their industries which may make it very difficult for our shipbuilders to compete,” Minister Brown said.
“I believe the Government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure appropriate measures are in place which will protect our shipbuilders.”