The Canadian province of Quebec is funding an initiative of the Canadian American Business Council that seeks to ensure that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic brings the two neighbors together rather than tear them apart.
The provincial government is spending $25,000 to promote the North American Rebound campaign on social media through the end of the year, according to a new lobbying filing with the US Department of Justice. The brainchild of council CEO Maryscott Greenwood and Quebec’s delegate-general in New York, Catherine Loubier, the anti-protectionist initiative aims to promote a “common cross-border manufacturing response” to the public health crisis “and help our shared economies rebuild and recover.”
To that end, the Quebec has retained the services of Crestview Strategy, an Ottawa-based public affairs firm that handles staff work for the Canadian American Business Council and separately lobbies for the provincial government of Alberta. Greenwood, who is also a partner at the firm and the manager of its Washington office, is the sole foreign agent registered on the account.
“It was fairly organic,” Greenwood said of the initiative. “It came out of the pandemic, or out of this idea during the pandemic that you’d have local jurisdictions kind of competing against each other for PPE [personal protective equipment].”
“We thought, you know what, especially when it comes to Canada-US, we ought not to compete against each other,” Greenwood told Foreign Lobby Report. “We ought to figure out how to collaborate and deal with the pandemic in a collaborative way. And then as we thought about it, we thought actually it’s not just the pandemic — it’s the whole economic recovery that we’re faced with.”
According to the campaign’s web site, priorities include:
- Securing the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) in both countries;
- Designing Canada-US manufacturing solutions to replenish and maintain strategic stockpiles of medical equipment;
- Continuing to ensure people and goods cross the border efficiently without interrupting our critical supply chains; and
- Expanding market opportunities between our two countries in order to spur recovery and compete globally.
To date, about 100 businesses and chambers of commerce on both sides of the border have signed on to the initiative.