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   P R E S S    R E L E A S E  -  -                                                       November 23, 2015

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    Through a full day of meetings, tours and activities, the Mayors of Plattsburgh, New York and Longueuil, Quebec joined today in the first ever "RENDEZVOUS LONGUEUIL-PLATTSBURGH".

     Led by Mayor Caroline St-Hilaire, a delegation of Longueuil business leaders visited Plattsburgh today and were hosted by Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and State Senator Betty Little who serves as Honorary Chair of the Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition.

     The centerpiece of the day's activities was an official luncheon in the auditorium of Plattsburgh City Hall, concluding with the signing of a Declaration of Cooperation by the two Mayors, witnessed by Senator Little and by representatives of the Quebec and North Country transportation equipment clusters. Longueuil is home to a large number of transportation, transportation equipment and aerospace companies as is the Plattsburgh region, and the new declaration is a direct follow-up to an agreement signed in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec in June between the Pole d'excellence quebecois en transport terrestre (Quebec Ground Transportation Cluster) and the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment, a new coalition of North Country transportation equipment companies organized by the North Country Chamber and the Development Corporation.

     The declaration commits the two cities to a partnership in support of their shared future in the international world of business and transportation equipment, including:

·         Annual visits and exchanges between the two communities, beginning with a second Rendezvous Longueuil-Plattsburgh to be held in Longueuil in 2016;

·         The identification by the two cities and the two Centers of Excellence of current and future synergies between the transportation equipment clusters in both areas, leading o the development of shared communications and best practices and the pursuit of shared aims;

·         Shared commitment to the development and promotion of a successful and growing bi-national transportation equipment cluster centered in Quebec and New York; and

·         The identification by designated representatives of the two cities of other opportunities for city to city sharing and cooperation in support of the quality of life of their residents.

     The visit began in the morning with briefings and discussions at the North Country Chamber, followed by bus tours in the morning and afternoon that included visits to Bombardier Transportation, Nova Bus and Plattsburgh International Airport.

The luncheon was sponsored by the Development Corporation, Community Bank, and the law firm of Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher and Trombley.

     "I was very pleased to host this inaugural event, celebrating the power of cooperation between the transportation business clusters north and south of the border," stated Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon. "I and my new friend and partner, Mayor St-Hilaire of Longueuil, are committed to this effort and we look forward to seeing the relationship between our cities, our business communities and Quebec and New York grow in the years ahead."

     "The cross border relationship with our neighbors to the north is nothing less than wonderful and, I believe, a shining example of how commerce can and should work," said Senator Betty Little. "I have had the pleasure of meeting with Quebec leaders many times to talk about strengthening this bond. I am grateful for today's opportunity to join in welcoming the Mayor of Longueuil, Caroline St-Hilaire, to learn how we can work together to create even more economic opportunities."

     "The transportation equipment clusters in Quebec and the North Country already have a strong connection, with many of our companies being U.S. operations of Quebec companies, and supply chains working north and south in both directions," stated Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "Our two clusters will grow and benefit from further development of this bi-national synergy, and we foresee valuable connections emerging from this new Plattsburgh-Longueuil relationship."

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