Ontario and Quebec Announce Trade Talks

    Premiers McGuinty And Charest Also Call For Federal Action To Support

    QUEEN'S PARK, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec
Premier Jean Charest today announced they will cooperate to eliminate trade
barriers and improve labour mobility between their two provinces. They also
called on the federal government to work with them to ensure the Ontario and
Quebec economies remain competitive in today's tough global marketplace.
    The Premiers signed a joint declaration to begin negotiating an expanded
accord to strengthen the economies of Quebec and Ontario. Because of the
importance they give to this initiative, the Premiers will designate lead
negotiators and have asked their responsible ministers to meet regularly to
ensure rapid results.
    "This agreement will strengthen Canada's economic union by creating a
more open economy between Ontario and Quebec," said Premier McGuinty.
    "Quebec and Ontario form the largest trading bloc in Canada," said
Premier Charest. "We can eliminate barriers to trade and labour mobility while
maintaining the capacity of each government to respond to circumstances in
their respective provinces."
    The Premiers also discussed the consequences of a strong Canadian dollar
on their manufacturing sectors. They urged the federal government to take
immediate and tangible action to support the steps Ontario and Quebec have
already taken.
    "Fierce competition from overseas and a strong Canadian dollar mean our
exporters have their backs against the wall," Premier McGuinty said. "We have
an economic plan and we need the federal government to step up and do its part
to support the plan."
    "A struggling manufacturing sector has repercussions for the entire
economy," said Premier Charest. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper must convene a
meeting with premiers of all provinces and territories as soon as possible to
tackle the crisis."
    In making their announcement, both Premiers emphasized the value of
enhancing the strong, successful relationship that exists between the people
of Quebec and Ontario. With that in mind, Premiers McGuinty and Charest agreed
to hold a joint Cabinet meeting in the spring of 2008. The steps taken today
build on the cooperation agreement signed by the two Premiers in 2006 and will
foster closer cooperation to make both provinces more prosperous.

    Disponible en français

           www.premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca   www.ontario.ca/premier

For further information:

For further information: Media Officer, Premier of Quebec's Office,
(418) 643-5321; Premier of Ontario's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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