The mayor of Quebec’s third-largest city was in Plattsburgh recently to re-sign a Declaration of Cooperation between the two cities.
During a luncheon Friday Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Longueuil, Quebec Mayor Sylvie Parent formally continued a partnership established between the two cities in 2015. Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas says both Longueuil and Plattsburgh are hubs in the rapidly growing binational New York-Quebec economic corridor. “We both are progressively outward looking communities, globally aware, hosting global businesses, feeding international markets with a very international perspective on our business communities and from our business communities. And we both are key centers for transportation equipment and aerospace. Very much a part of a what we again believe very much to be increasingly a bi-national cluster. That is why Plattsburgh and Longueuil. That’s why we want to continue to build this relationship.”
Since the first formal agreement was signed three years ago, regular so-called Rendezvous Longueuil-Plattsburgh have occurred. Longueuil Mayor Parent explained that her city is seeking cross-border opportunities. “We plan to set up a techno-city that will be a hub for high technology industries, research centers, businesses and financial institutions. Our goal is to create an ecosystem to jumpstart innovation and economic growth in our community.”
The group from Quebec met with officials from educational institutions in the area including the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College. Longueuil International Business Development Director Stephane Fallecker says education is key to successful cross-border development. “We do think in a sense that the basis of relation is linked to education. That’s the foundation. Companies actually did come and go there. But I think the next frontier will be the talent, having the right people to do the right things. And that’s the reason why we wanted to bring them in. That’s the reason why actually we’re interested actually it was interesting to learn the fact that there might be some collaboration between them on the collegial level but also at the university level. I think we need both to be able to actually to strive. And that’s going on so it’s a good base.”
Following comments from officials Douglas called on Mayor Parent and Plattsburgh Mayor Read to sign the updated partnership agreement. New York state Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones signed as witnesses. “I’ll now ask both mayors to join one another as they sign an updated fresh agreement of cooperation and partnership between the city of Longueuil and the city of Plattsburgh.”
Read notes there are very few places in the U.S. with opportunities like this. “They are really at the same place in trying to develop their downtown. They’re trying to attract the same sort of cross section of industries to their region as we are here. And we really see an awful lot of opportunities to work together and that we can only gain through collaboration.”
Mayor Parent added that there are numerous similarities between the cities despite their difference in size. “We work hard for the transportation, for the manufacturing and for development. Our cities, Plattsburgh and Longueuil, we are close. We are so close and we have the same vision of development. So we have to work together. We have the geography and historically we have the same base and so this is easy to work all together.”
The agreement calls for shared aims, development and promotion of the transportation equipment and aerospace clusters between the two cities. Longueuil is on the southeast bank of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal with a population of 400,000. Plattsburgh is about 20 miles south of the Canadian border. The city’s population is about 19,000.