Premiers McGuinty And Charest Also Call For Federal Action To Support

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Nov. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - 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

                                 ONTARIO AND

                              NEGOTIATION OF AN

                           QUEBEC ECONOMIC REGION

               Joint statement by the Government of Ontario and
          the Government of Quebec Respecting the Negotiation of an
          Agreement on Enhancing the Ontario-Québec Economic Region
       (Accord visant a renforcer l'espace economique Quebec-Ontario)

    This joint statement signed and dated at Toronto, Ontario on the 26th day
                              of November, 2007


                            GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO
                    represented by the Premier of Ontario
                   (hereinafter referred to as "Ontario")


                             GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC
                     represented by the Premier of Quebec
                    (hereinafter referred to as "Quebec")


    WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec share a common border and benefit from already
integrated economies;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec governments share an interest in
increasing their provinces' economic prosperity to improve the quality of life
of their residents;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec have a significant history of cooperation;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec recognize their role and responsibility
with regards to economic development and the value of working together
collaboratively to address the economic challenges and opportunities of a
globally competitive marketplace;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec agree that the elimination of unnecessary
trade, investment and labour mobility barriers and restrictions reduce the
cost of products and services and contribute to a sustainable economic growth;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec believe that eliminating such barriers and
restrictions can and must occur simultaneously with maintaining and enhancing,
governments' policies for labour, environmental and consumer protection
standards, health, education, culture and regional economic development;

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec agree on the importance of formally
adopting a modern economic and trade agreement between Canada's two largest
provincial economies in order to grow their economies and deliver real
benefits to residents, workers, consumers, investors, businesses and

    AND WHEREAS, Ontario and Quebec agree that an economic and trade agreement
should also be supported by a complementary forum of the two governments to
discuss, exchange ideas and coordinate solutions to broader common economic
issues and challenges facing their economies.

    AND WHEREAS, the Agreement on Internal Trade, to which Ontario and Québec
are Parties, permits the Parties to enter into additional arrangements to
further liberalize trade, investment and labour mobility;

    AND WHEREAS this bilateral initiative to enhance the Ontario and Québec
economies will contribute in improving the Canadian economic union and in
meeting the objectives pursued by the workplan on Internal Trade adopted by
the Council of the Federation.

    THEREFORE, Ontario and Quebec agree as follows:

    1.0 Purpose

    The purpose of the Joint Statement is to confirm the intent of Ontario and
Quebec to prepare a modern, comprehensive economic and trade agreement that
will build on existing bilateral procurement and construction labour mobility
agreements and the two Provinces' co-operation agreements. The agreement will
focus on the specifics of bilateral trade between the two provinces and
opportunities for improving economic activity on a day-to-day basis.

    2.0 Negotiators

    Ontario and Quebec will identify lead negotiators, who will be responsible
for the preparation of a draft economic and trade agreement for consideration
by the Cabinets of Ontario and Quebec.

    3.0 Reporting/Accountability

    The lead negotiators for Ontario and Quebec will report,

    In the case of Ontario, to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade,

    In the case of Quebec, to the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation
and Exportation.

    4.0 Timing

    Ontario and Quebec are committed to the successful conclusion of
negotiations and execution of an economic and trade agreement in an
expeditious timeframe.
    Ontario and Quebec will be provided with an interim report from their
responsible ministers at a joint Cabinet meeting of the two Provinces in
spring 2008.


          (signed)                          (signed)
    ----------------------            ---------------------
    FOR ONTARIO                       FOR QUEBEC
    Dalton McGuinty                   Jean Charest
    Premier of Ontario                Premier of Quebec
    -%RE: 1

For further information:

For further information: Hugo D'Amours, Media Officer, Premier of
Quebec's Office, (418) 643-5321, www.premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca; Premier of
Ontario's Media Office, (416) 314-8975, www.ontario.ca/premier

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