It’s time to put Central Canada at the center of the map, said the Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, as he pledged to work with Ontario to restore the traditional influence of the two most populous country provinces.
“That is the essence of my message,” said the Prime Minister on Friday during Ontario Economic Summit in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The Prime Minister said Couillard remember glory days of Robert Bourassa and David Peterson, who had close ties and acted “like a block of influence” in Canada.
Addressing the audience in English only, Mr. Couillard said he hoped, as Kathleen Wynne, to recreate this special relationship between the prime ministers of the two most populous provinces of Canada.
Mr. Couillard, who led the Liberals to a majority victory in the provincial election in April, says his message is clear: Quebec is back at the table, not on the sidelines of discussions, but actually sitting at the table, which means it will share loudly its views, as a partner who wants to contribute.
“We want to play a major role, not at the expense of other parts of the country, but rather play the role we play considering our demographic and economic weight.”
Without regard to political parties who run the two provinces “to work together and form a block of influence in the country,” added Mr. Couillard.
Wynne told the audience of business people to see Quebec and Ontario rebuild their close relationship will be vital to the economic prosperity of both provinces and even the entire country. And will also “be a dominant force on the political plan,” she added, briefing.
Whereas the two provinces contribute more than 50% of its GDP and 60% of federal revenues, it is difficult to say that Ontario and Quebec are not crucial to the economic health of the country, said the Prime Minister.
The next joint meeting of members of the Council of Ministers of the two provinces will be held on November 21 in Toronto. It will be devoted to discussion of international trade, energy, climate change and the Francophonie.
Shortly after this meeting, Wynne and Mr. Couillard had to leave and go together in China, where they will participate in a trade mission.