Speech - guest speaker:Mr. Tim Pawlenty, Governor of MinnesotaBusiness and partnership opportunities between Quebec and Minnesota companies

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Added on 6 October 2003 in Speeches


Mr. Tim Pawlenty
, Governor of Minnesota


Remarks of Governor Tim Pawlenty

Breakfast Address

World Trade Centre Montreal

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

 

Bonjour.

 

On behalf of the people of Minnesota, we are thrilled to be here today to celebrate our long-time friendship with Canada – and to expand our partnerships in Montreal.  I want to thank our gracious hosts – the City of Montreal, the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade and the World Trade Center Montreal – for their joint efforts on our behalf.

Special thanks to:

  • Mayor Gerald Tremblay (Zhe-RALD Trome-BLAY))

  • Benoit Labonte (Ben-WAH La-bone-TAY), President and CEO of Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade

  • Claude Dugas (Clode Doo-GAH), Executive Director of theWorld Trade Center Montreal and his fine staff.

We're also honored by the presence of U.S. Consul General Bernadette Allen. Consul General Allen, thank you for being here.

__

It's wonderful to be with you this morning in this amazing city – where old-world rooftops, modern skyscrapers and futuristic stadiums are all perfectly at home in the same skyline.

It's a testament to the vitality and diversity of Montreal.  The visionaries who built this city must have thought, “Vive La Difference!”

 

 

But similarities are just as important when a province like Quebec and a state like Minnesota come together in search of common ground.  So I'd like to begin with a story that I think will strike home for us both. 

 

 

Tired – and maybe suffering a bit from the night before – an ice fisherman gets up before dawn, gathers his gear and heads outdoors in search of a catch.

 

 

Barely awake, he takes out his auger and begins cutting a hole in the ice. Suddenly a loud voice thunders from the sky: “Mister, there are no fish under that ice!”

 

 

Startled and shaken – the fisherman looks around but sees no one. “How do you know there are no fish?” he cries out into the darkness?  “Are you God?"

 

 

“No, stupid!” the voice bellows. “I'm manager of this hockey rink!”

 

__ I don't know about you – but that's called an “honest mistake” in Minnesota!

 

Of all the countries we could have chosen for my first official trade mission, there really was NO other place to begin but Canada.   And the decision had nothing to do with our “hockey connection” – as important as we all know it is.

 

For starters – we sold $2.4 billion in manufactured goods to Canada last year.  That's more than 25 percent of Minnesota's total manufactured exports – and more than we sold to our next three largest trading partners combined.  Quebec's purchases added up to more than $90 million dollars.  And on the flip side – the province sold Minnesota everything from aircraft to motor vehicles to albuminoidal substances. (I'm afraid to ask what those might be!)

 

It's no wonder Minnesota and Canada do so much business together – because we share far more than a common border.  We share the same values – the same principles and beliefs – and a long, rich history of friendship and cooperation.

 

It is a relationship we dare not – and do not take for granted.  And we're grateful that Canada shares our commitment.  Minnesota has just two full-time consulates – and one of them belongs to Canada.  We appreciate the hard work of your Consul General – Christopher Thomson – and consider him to be a good friend of Minnesota.

 

Canada is far and away Minnesota's largest and most important customer.