Minister Pupatello And Minister Bachand Appoint Their Chief Negotiators

Archived Release

Minister Pupatello And Minister Bachand Appoint Their Chief Negotiators

Jim Peterson To Represent Ontario; Michel Audet To Represent Québec TORONTO and QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 19 - Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Raymond Bachand, Québec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, today announced the appointment of Chief Negotiators to begin negotiating an expanded accord to strengthen the economies of Ontario and Québec. "We are delighted to announce that former federal Minister of International Trade Jim Peterson will represent Ontario during these negotiations," said Minister Pupatello. "With his considerable government and legal expertise, Mr. Peterson is the ideal candidate to negotiate an agreement that will enhance the strong relationship that exists between the people of Ontario and Québec and foster closer cooperation to make both provinces more prosperous." "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Michel Audet as chief negotiator for Québec," said Minister Bachand. "Mr. Audet's extensive experience and training make him an excellent choice for negotiating Québec's objectives. His expertise and tact will surely lead to stronger economic ties between Québec and Ontario, which already form the largest trading bloc in Canada." Mr. Peterson and Mr. Audet will assume their posts immediately. Among their first tasks will be to agree on a timetable for the negotiations and to consult with interested parties. Jim Peterson, chief negotiator for Ontario The Honourable James S. Peterson P.C. served as federal Minister of International Trade between 2003 and 2006 and, until his retirement from the House of Commons in 2007, served as Member of Parliament for Willowdale (Toronto) for 23 years. While Minister, he represented Canada at the World Trade Organization's Doha round of negotiations which focused on expanding trade and investment in leading emerging markets including Brazil, Russia, India and China, and dealt with complex issues related to trade with Canada's NAFTA partners, the European Union, the Middle East and the Americas. Mr. Peterson is the author of numerous articles and studies for Canadian and foreign publications on international business, investment, taxation and fiscal policy and holds a Doctorate in Civil Law from McGill University. In November 2007, Mr. Peterson joined law firm Fasken Martineau as Counsel. Michel Audet, chief negotiator for Québec A trained economist, Mr. Audet has worked as a senior public servant on economic issues for the Québec government, notably as Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Energy and Resources from 1977 to 1979, and Department of Industry, Commerce and Technology from 1979 to 1984. He was Québec's Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development from 1986 to 1987, and Deputy Minister, Department of Industry, Commerce and Technology from 1988 to 1992. He subsequently held the position of Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Finance from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Audet was appointed Minister of Economic and Regional Development from 2003 to 2005, and Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2007. The announcement follows the November 26 meeting between Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Québec Premier Jean Charest during which a joint declaration was signed to begin negotiating an agreement to strengthen the Ontario-Québec economic region, notably by eliminating barriers to labour mobility, investment and trade. "Today's announcement is another step forward in eliminating barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility, while maintaining the capacity of each government to respond to circumstances in their respective provinces," concluded Ministers Pupatello and Bachand. Disponible en françaisFor further information: Contacts: Flavio Volpe, Chief of Staff, Minister's Office, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Trade, (416) 325-6907; Jolyane Pronovost, Press Secretary, Minister's Office, Québec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, (418) 691-5650