New York State Assembly Hosts Inaugural Event for Task Force on New York Canada Relations

The New York State Assembly hosted its inaugural event for the newly formed Task Force on New York Canada Relations chaired by Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) during the annual New York Canada Day in Albany. Members from across the state met with visitors from the General Consul of Canada to discuss the importance of this relationship between the two governments and how to make sure that this partnership continues to grow. The Task Force on New York Canada Relations is in its infancy and will include members from across the state who represent areas with strong cultural and economic ties to our neighbors to the North. The mission of this task force is to foster the relationship between New York and Canada, raise awareness on the importance of this relationship to all New Yorkers, and increase the economic impact this relationship has created. The task force will also emphasize the cultural relationship between New York and Canada and how this relationship benefits communities across the state.

“Canada is New York’s biggest trading partner by far with over $42 billion in trade in 2021,” said Assemblyman Jones, “and it is not just the border communities that feel this economic impact. Some of the counties in New York City and Long Island benefit the most from this trade partnership and we need to raise awareness on the importance of not only this economic relationship throughout the state but the cultural one and social one as well. Border communities like the North Country see it every day with day travelers and Canadians who have second homes and in the very names of our communities that have French Canadian ties. Tuesday was a very productive event with the members of the General Consul of Canada, and I want to thank Acting Consul General André Frenette, Delegate General of Quebec Martine Hébert, and Managing Director of Alberta’s Washington D.C.’s office Julia Bareman for meeting with us. I am proud to have started the very first task force like this in the United States and look forward to working with my colleagues and the General Consul to continue to foster this important relationship.”

“New York’s cultural, social and economic ties to Canada are a tremendous asset not only to our communities that share a border with our northern neighbors, but to our entire state. All across New York, we benefit from tourism and a strong trade relationship that help spur our economy,” said Speaker Carl Heastie. “This new task force will ensure that our state is able to continue to foster the relationship between New York and Canada and build upon our existing connections. I would like to thank Assemblymember Jones for his leadership of this task force, as well as our partners in government in Canada for their cooperation. I look forward to the opportunities it will undoubtedly bring for New Yorkers and Canadians alike.”

“Canada and New York State are the closest of friends and neighbors, and I would like to thank Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jones for launching this exciting new Task Force on New York Canada Relations,” said André Frenette, Acting Consul General of Canada. “Canada is New York State’s number one customer and our highly integrated supply chains support tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border. The ties between Canada and New York State extend beyond economics to a shared commitment on security, combatting climate change and righting the inequities of the past to create welcoming spaces in all our communities. Canada is a proud to be a secure, reliable partner to New York State and I look forward to engaging more closely with the NYS Assembly as we explore how to further grow our relationship.”

"Our region's connections with Canada are the greatest ingredient in our economic present and future, from manufacturing and logistics to cross border travel," says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "The formation of this new task force in the State Assembly by Speaker Heastie, who has been here and has seen the impact of cross border investment in particular, provides an important new platform in Albany for spreading awareness and facilitating new and even stronger connections. And tapping our own Billy Jones to serve as Chair is an outstanding action for us and for the entire state. We thank Speaker Heastie and Assemblyman Jones for making this happen and truly look forward to working actively with the task force to pursue many opportunities for both New York and Canada. Onward and upward!"

In previous years, over 19 million people have crossed at New York-Canada port of entries, which has a significant impact on tourism and New York’s economy. The trade relationship between New York and Canada must not be underestimated as well- New York exports $16.5 billion in goods to Canada annually and imports $17.9 billion in goods from Canada. New York also exports $8.4 billion in services to Canada annually. It is not just regions close to the border that benefit from this trade relationship. The top six counties that export goods to Canada are New York, Erie, Suffolk, Oneida, Monroe, and Queens with over $11.5 billion in exports in total. This trade relationship is also important because it creates jobs in New York with 58,744 workers employed at the 829 Canadian-owned businesses across the state.