Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Québec Premier François Legault Reaffirm Strong Economic Partnership
SASKATOON — Today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Québec Premier François Legault released the following joint statement:
"Ontario and Québec share a long history of working together to create opportunity and prosperity for people in our provinces. Together, our provinces make up more than half of Canada's total GDP and represent each other's largest Canadian trading partner. We will continue to work together to support our thriving innovation sector between Toronto and Montreal.
Our provinces are creating the conditions for businesses to grow and prosper within Canada and internationally. Today, we agreed to continue to find ways to strengthen our economies, cut red tape and create the good quality jobs people deserve and answer the existing labour shortage. Both Premiers agreed on the need for greater economic immigration and the necessity to set a minimum target of 65% of annual admissions for candidates, including skilled workers, business people and entrepreneurs, in order to adequately meet labour market needs.
We are committed to protecting the livelihoods and incomes of workers and businesses impacted by the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and U.S. tariffs. We renew our call on the federal government for immediate action to ensure Canada is exempt from any "Buy America" provisions. These provisions would negatively impact Ontario and Quebec businesses and workers in a number of our key industries. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our forestry sector to fight unfair U.S. duties on softwood lumber.
Both Premiers reiterated the necessity for the federal government to respect provincial jurisdiction, including when it comes to designing a plan to fight climate change that reflects each province's distinct needs and priorities. We further call on the federal government to truly respect the principle of having one project, one review when it comes to environmental assessments.
Québec and Ontario are committed to ongoing collaborative efforts to tap into Canada's economic potential. We will continue to work together on reducing interprovincial trade barriers, including enhanced alignment on rules and regulations in our transportation sectors and reviewing business registration charges. We are also continuing our discussions related to our commitment to ensuring access to affordable, reliable electricity for families and businesses. Ministers from both provinces are already actively pursuing this agenda.
We will continue to push the federal government for full compensation for provinces impacted by the influx of irregular border crossers. We continue to call on the federal government to have a credible plan to manage the border going forward.
Ontario further raised the issue of the severe wild fires in Northwestern Ontario and evacuating affected communities. Québec has already provided crews to help fight the fires and facilitate evacuations, and remains committed to working with Ontario to ensure those affected are moved out of harm's way. Ensuring the safety of those affected by the fires is our top priority.
Ontario and Québec maintain a strong relationship throughout our shared history. We will continue to build a win-win relationship for the people of our provinces."