Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Quebec’s le premier ministre Philippe Couillard met for the first time today in Quebec City. It was a cordial meeting, a Harper aide said, though, so far as I know the meeting was not on any official itinerary distributed ahead of time to the Parliamentary Press Gallery. (His attendance at the Gala Triomphe was on his public itinerar) The meeting wasn’t necessarily a secret but neither the PMO nor the premier’s office seemed to be making a big deal of it.
Photo journalists were not invited in to take a picture of the two men meeting (though I note, the first Alison Redford and Stephen Harper as Premier of Alberta and Prime Minister, there were photos.) though I fully expect that new racy newsmagazine 24/7 to have the “exclusive” pix any day now. My Sun Media colleagues in Quebec, though, snapped the two men together at an event honoring athletes. (Above)
In the meantime, Harper’s office has helpfully distributed this “read-out” of the meeting between the two men:
“Prime Minister Harper indicated that the federal government intends to work closely with the government of Quebec to advance common priorities related to the economy and job creation. They discussed a series of issues, including infrastructure and energy development, and also identified avenues for collaboration in other priority sectors, namely Premier Couillard’s “maritime strategy”.
The two leaders highlighted the importance of Quebec playing a leadership role within the federation.”
Colleague Charles LeCavalier has the write-up on the meeting for our French language papers.
I say: Good luck, Premier, and good luck, prime minister, as you both work to make a more prosperous Québec “nation within a united Canada.”