Shared Solutions To Shared Challenges
McGuinty Urges Ontario And Michigan To Work Together On Auto Sector, Secure Border And Clean Air And Water
DETROIT -- Ontario and Michigan should build on their history of strong friendship and productive trade by working together on shared solutions to shared challenges, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Our relationship is truly one of the wonders of the industrialized world," Premier McGuinty said in a major speech to the Detroit Economic Club.
"We are each other's single largest trading partner. We are friends and neighbours. We are strongest when we work together."
He said Ontario and Michigan should search for shared solutions in three key areas: the auto sector, border security and protection of our air and water.
Premier McGuinty called for joint investments in the auto sector to prepare the region's workers for the next generation of innovation in the industry.
"We can say proudly and accurately that the Great Lakes auto corridor designs and builds the best vehicles and vehicle parts in North America," Premier McGuinty said.
"If we work together, we'll be able to say that just as proudly 20 years from now."
The Premier stressed that Ontario shares Michigan's concerns about border security and understands that "security trumps everything" and is committed to working with Michigan on security issues.
Finally, Premier McGuinty urged common action to protect the Great Lakes we share and the air we breathe.
Specifically, he called for tougher emission standards for hundreds of old coal-fired electricity plants that are to be retrofitted in the U.S.
"We're working at cross-purposes," said Premier McGuinty, whose government is working to replace electricity from Ontario's coal-fired plants with cleaner energy.
Last year, Ontario-Michigan trade totalled $66 billion, a figure that is greater than Canada's trade with the whole of Europe. One-third of Ontario's total exports are destined for Michigan, and Michigan accounts for more than 10 per cent of Ontario's worldwide imports.
"Let's strive to be even closer allies, so we can overcome the challenges we face together, and deliver what our people both want: a prosperous economy, a secure society, and a quality of life that's second to none," McGuinty said.