Le Québec, le Canada et le défi américain
Back to the blog
1 July 2018

Québec, Canada and the American Challenge

Le Québec, le Canada et le défi américain

Jean-Marc Fournier

Member for Saint-Laurent
Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie
Government House Leader


Source: LaPresse

Québec-Canada relations are often described as those of “two solitudes.” However, we share many things in common, including our trade relationships, which are important, but little known.

Québec must continue to increase its economic missions to Asia, Europe and the United States without losing sight of the fact that 40% of all Québec exports are actually destined for Canada.

We trade more goods with British Columbia than with China, more with New Brunswick than with France, and more with Ontario than the 28 countries of the European Union combined. This is certainly a result of our history, but it is also very much a contemporary reality. From 2000 to 2015, interprovincial trade grew an average of 3.9% per year.

The future will be no different, and the examples speak for themselves.

The recent partnership between the Desjardins Group, five provincial centrals of the Canadian Credit Union Association and CUMIS will create one of Canada’s largest independent wealth management firms.

In terms of green technology, the Québec company Énergir is working with G4 Insights, a British Columbian company, to create a new way to convert biomass into renewable natural gas.

Artificial intelligence is bringing together research centres, businesses and governments in several provinces.

Finally, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on July 1, 2017, has given us more freedom in our public markets.

Canadian trade is developing in an environment of solidarity and stability.

At a time when some on the global stage are being tempted by protectionism and our American partner is sowing doubt and instability, solidarity among Canadian partners is called for, now more than ever.

We need solidarity among government partners, certainly, but also among company representatives and the workers who will be involved in their efforts.

We must collectively realize the potential of the Canadian economic zone: firstly, as a source of imports and as a market for exporting goods and services; secondly, in terms of production, since the imposition of tariffs is forcing us to evaluate the potential of supply chains that could be further deployed on an east-west axis; and finally, by collaborating more in order to maximize our presence and our international impact. Together, we can show our willingness to reinforce a stable economic environment ripe for investment.

On the 151st anniversary of Confederation, let us rediscover our strengths, our assets and our solidarity together. Let us choose to work more closely with each other while respecting our differences. Let us promote economic exchange, of course, but also cultural, social and environmental relationships.

We have a challenge to face and a future to build together.


Jean-Marc Fournier
Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie