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Ontario-Québec premiers staging an economic summit

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Québec Premier François Legault will convene their first-ever Ontario-Québec Summit to advance shared priorities on economic recovery and health preparedness, issues important to the people of the two provinces. The summit will take place on September 8 and September 9, 2020 in Mississauga.

“As the economic heart of Canada, Ontario and Québec have often joined forces to create prosperity for the people of our two provinces,” said Premier Ford. “While the path to economic recovery won’t be easy, we don’t have to go it alone. Our provinces must now work together at this critical juncture to help drive the country forward. I look forward to hosting Premier Legault and members of his cabinet to fast-track a shared path to recovery.”

The summit will provide an opportunity for Ontario and Québec to collaborate further as they seek to rebuild their economies and help get more families and businesses back on their feet. As Canada’s economic and manufacturing powerhouses, Ontario and Québec stand ready to work together to support a strong, resilient recovery for people and communities across the country.

“Over the past few months, we have shown great solidarity as we have had to manage an unprecedented crisis.” said Premier Legault. “We have a lot to learn from each other and collaboration between our governments will remain critical as we strive to recover our economies safely while preparing ourselves for a potential second wave.”

During the summit, the Premiers and Ministers will participate in a series of meetings where they will discuss key areas of cooperation. The provinces plan to work together to share lessons learned from the pandemic, accelerate economic recovery and growth by reducing barriers to international trade and promoting Ontario-made and Québec-made products, and advocate on behalf of Ontarians and Quebeckers with the federal government to provide fair, flexible and sustainable funding for important priorities, including health care, infrastructure and broadband.

Formal summits between Ontario and Quebec are fairly uncommon. Historically the most famous Ontario-Quebec summit took  place in 1938 at the height of the Depression when Ontario Premier Mitch Hepburn,(who’s folksy style was not unlike Ford’s)  teamed up with Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis to blast the Federal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Newspaper speculation at the time had the two premiers forming a national party that would defeat King. That does not appear to be the purpose of next week’s summit but any collaboration between Canada’s two largest provinces causes nervousness in Ottawa.

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