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McGuinty And Charest Commit To Cooperation

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McGuinty And Charest Commit To Cooperation

Signing of Protocol for Cooperation Builds a Stronger Ontario and Québec

Office of the Premier

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Québec Premier Jean Charest today signed a protocol for cooperation. The protocol signals that Ontario and Québec are committed to working together on shared priorities and building a higher quality of life for their citizens. As part of this Protocol agreement, a number of ministers, at the same time, signed nine specific cooperation agreements, including a central agreement on Francophone Affairs.

"Ontario values its deep and enduring relationship with Québec," said Premier McGuinty. "Today, we are strengthening our relationship with Québec and paving the way for improvements in key areas that will provide long-term benefits for the people of both provinces."

"Québec and Ontario share an important historic relationship of cooperation that has led to great achievements in the past," said Premier Charest. "This relationship must not only be preserved but reinforced in order for our two governments to better face their many new challenges."

In April 2004, the two premiers met in Toronto to discuss opportunities for collaboration on shared priorities. They agreed to work together and directed their ministers to negotiate and prepare agreements for key sectors.

As a result of this collaboration, a series of agreements focusing on shared priorities between Ontario and Québec are being signed today. In addition to the Agreement for Cooperation and Exchanges for Francophone Affairs, the Protocol also encompasses eight sector-specific agreements. These include:

  • Agreement Concerning Transportation Cooperation;
  • Agreement to Promote Sustainable Development of Crown Land and Natural Resources;
  • Forest Protection Cooperation Agreement;
  • Agreement for Cooperation on Health Care;
  • Agreement for Cooperation on Culture;
  • Agreement for Cooperation on Tourism;
  • Agreement for Collaboration Concerning Emergency Management;
  • Agreement Concerning Transboundary Environmental Impacts.

"We are committed to enhancing our relationships with other provinces," said Premier McGuinty. "The citizens we serve expect their governments to work together and achieve results on shared priorities."

"Enhancing the collaboration between our two governments will help us make better use of the resources available to improve public services and build a higher quality of life for our citizens," said Premier Charest. "Better collaboration between us will also help improve the Federation for the benefit of all Canadians."

Premiers McGuinty and Charest also today presided over the signing of the Ontario-Québec construction labour mobility agreement. The labour mobility agreement helps build a more prosperous, long-term future for both provinces. It will promote access for all workers and the construction industry in both provinces, while improving both economies through a stronger flow of skills and capital.

With the signing of this agreement, Ontario and Quebec residents will have easier access to jobs and business opportunities in the construction industry in each province. Ontario residents will now have greater access to construction contracts and jobs in Québec, including broader access to some Québec Crown corporations contracts. Reciprocally, Québec residents will have restored access to construction contracts and jobs in Ontario, including broader access to public sector construction projects such as hospitals and schools in Ontario, as well as some Ontario Crown corporations.

With respect to construction contracts of electrical utilities, the agreement contains a formal commitment for reciprocal access for both provinces' contractors. Ultimately, residents of both provinces will benefit as a result of the two governments working together successfully on long-standing issues such as labour mobility.

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