MEDIA ADVISORY - Second Great Lakes Economic Forum to gather ideas for harnessing the economic strengths of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region in a borderless global economy

TORONTO, April 23, 2016 /CNW/ - From April 24-26, 2016, the Council of the Great Lakes Region will host its second Great Lakes Economic Forum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada which will bring together leaders from business, government, academia and the non-profit from the United States and Canada to share ideas and insights that will help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of this bi-national economic region.

Key issues to be discussed at this year's Forum include:

  • Promoting cross-border trade and attracting foreign direct investment,
  • Shifting to a low carbon economy,
  • Workforce development and mobility,
  • Freight system performance and optimization,
  • Multi-modal preclearance,
  • Supporting regional cluster innovation,
  • Using big data to speed up the movement of people and goods across the border,
  • Developing a regional food economy,
  • Taking advantage of the digital economy,
  • Modernizing passenger rail in the Montreal-Windsor corridor,
  • Prospects for the Great Lakes fishery
  • The future of mining in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region
  • Protecting shared critical infrastructure
  • Cross-border emergency management collaboration
  • Riding the wave of global tourism
  • Crossing the 49th Parallel - buying businesses in foreign jurisdictions
  • Transforming the way we fuel freight transportation
  • Leveraging world-class education and research institutions
  • Creating a robust Great Lakes cruising industry

In addition to the plenary and concurrent panel discussions at the Forum, Doug Porter, Chief Economist and Managing Director at BMO Financial Group, will also present BMO's latest update on the state of the economy in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region.

Keynote speakers include:

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario

Ambassador Bruce Heyman
United States Ambassador to Canada

Ambassador David MacNaughton
Canada's Ambassador to the United States of America

Assistant Secretary Arun M. Kumar
Global Markets, International Trade Administration, United States Department of Commerce

Mr. David Tsubouchi
Registrar and CEO, Ontario College of Trades

Mr. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
President and CEO, Via Rail Canada

Mr. Doug Porter
Chief Economist and Managing Director, BMO Financial Group

With a GDP of USD $5.8 trillion in 2014, the region, which is comprised of eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces – Ontario and Quebec, is the world's third largest marketplace with respect to economic activity.

It is responsible for 50 percent of the total value of cross-border goods traded between both countries.

Additionally, it makes up almost a third of the combined American and Canadian workforce.

Details about the event agenda are available at, which is open to the press. However, media are asked to register for event credentials using promo code MEDIA2016.

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a member-based organization that works to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the economic strengths of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region in a safe and sustainable manner using independent, evidence based public policy research, by convening diverse perspectives and through education and advocacy.

SOURCE Council of the Great Lakes Region

Image with caption: "The Council of the Great Lakes (CNW Group/Council of the Great Lakes Region)". Image available at:

For further information: please contact: Mark Fisher, President and CEO, (613) 668-2044 /

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