Quebec wants to seduce the chinese giant and don’t neglect seemingly no effort or expense to get there.
The mission of seven days in China led by premier Philippe Couillard, in January last, has cost more than 610 000 $ to the quebec taxpayers, according to the data obtained by The canadian Press under an access to information.
It is one of the most important — and certainly one of the most expensive — the government Couillard. A fortiori, the amount is only partial, because several of the requests for information remained unanswered.
The ministry of Economy has spent alone for the tidy sum of 484 523 $, in particular for the removal of 11 of its staff members. Of this amount, 316 932 $ are due to the event “Quebec” which was exposed during three days at the Museum of modern art, Shanghai.
About thirty craftsmen québec in the sectors of the media, entertainment and the culture there had made an appointment to showcase their products.
We had found the jeweler Yves Lemay, the creator of costumes custom for men Nathon Kong and three artists from the cirque Flip Factory, as well as the representative of the montreal studio of virtual reality Arnoovo.
The guests at this event were called to follow a path of booths on three floors, which culminated in a reception.
At the office of Mr. Kong, it is claimed today that the activity has helped to meet “potential partners”, but had no direct impact on the turnover of the business.
A quarantine agreements
According to the government, a quarantine agreements worth $ 262 million have been signed between québec companies and chinese in several sectors during the mission.
Mr. Couillard has also increased the private meetings to be very select with members of the chinese central government, as well as with the powerful mayor of Shanghai, Ying, Yong.
Quebec is stepping up its relationship with China because of the market potential that represents the 300 million Chinese who belong to the middle class. Mr. Couillard was made in the Middle kingdom for the first time in 2014 to promote the Plan Nord.
If it is risky to assess the impact of these missions to Quebec, it is not easy to calculate the cost to taxpayers, given the difficulty to obtain the complete list of the expenses incurred, which are shared between the executive Council, the ministry of Economy and international Relations and the Francophonie. No governmental authority shall centralizes the information.
The government has not provided the costs for other activities, such as the Carnival of winter in quebec to Beijing, the Cirque du Soleil show Kooza, and the Festival of québec products at the mall Daning.
The amount of 610 000 $ does not include the cost of the security team, kept confidential, nor those of the official photographer of the government, employees of the cabinet, or the prime minister’s wife, Suzanne Driver.
On the other hand, the ministry of Economy states having spent 61 463 $ to hold a dinner-conference with the business Council Canada-China, and 8564 $ to come to the snowboarder 10 years of age Eli Bouchard, in order that it offers the Chinese a demonstration of jumps in snowboarding. These amounts exclude agreements, sponsorships and participation fees, said the ministry.
For its part, the department of international Relations and la Francophonie, has spent at least 125 $ 618 for this mission in China. This sum covers the expenses of the prime minister, the minister delegate for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES), Stéphane Billette, a handful of ministry officials, as well as the staff of the Québec representation in China.
No expense is assigned to the assistant deputy minister Michel Lafleur, even if it indicates in the documents that he was present in China from the 15th to the 27th of January.
The amount of 125 618 $, near $ 30, 000 are charged directly to the prime minister, for his or her transportation costs, accommodation and meals. The services of the interpreter who accompanied Mr. Couillard have cost 17 914 $.
In comparison, the five-day mission of Mr. Couillard and five ministers in France in march 2015, a large mission, had cost approximately 127 000 $. Additional costs had been taken care of by the Government.
Since 2014, no less than six ministers of the government Couillard have been dispatched in China: Christine St-Pierre (international Relations), Pierre Arcand (natural Resources), Gaétan Barrette (Health), Carlos Leitao (Finance) Stéphane Billette (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises). The former minister of the Economy, the late Jacques Daoust, visited China twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Québec has recently requested the status of a general delegation in China. Such an official status would allow him to be recognized by the chinese authorities as a real player, diplomatic, political and economic.
The mission of seven days in China led by premier Philippe Couillard last January, has cost at least 610 000 $;
The ministry of Economy has spent 484 523 $;
The department of international Relations and la Francophonie, has spent at least 125 618 $;
It is one of the most important and the most expensive of the government Couillard;
A quarantine agreements worth $ 262 million have been signed between québec companies and chinese during the mission, according to the government.