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Quebec Premier’s Reiterates Sovereignty Aim in Speech

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Pauline Marois, premier of Canada’s second-most populous province, reiterated her aim to move Quebec toward independence and said it values its relationship with the U.S.

“I hope that the people of Quebec will one day be a part of the concert of nations,” Marois said today in a speech to the Foreign Policy Association of New York. “This is an internal debate. This will happen when Quebecers are ready.”

Marois, who led the separatist Parti Quebecois to a minority mandate in the Sept. 4 provincial election, is in New York as part of a two-day trip in a bid to boost trade ties between the province and the U.S. Quebec ships about 70 percent of its international exports to the U.S.

The goal of sovereignty “won’t change our geography and the strength of our relationship with our American friends and partners,” she said. “We place the highest value on our relationship with the United States.”

Marois also said Quebec welcomes trade and investment. Gross debt as a percentage of gross domestic product will decline to 45 percent by 2026, Marois said, repeating an earlier pledge, and said “the most obvious solution is simply to borrow less by better targeting our expenditures in infrastructure investments and tightening up their management.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Frederic Tomesco in Montreal at tomesco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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