Orazietti Announces New Agreements Between Ontario and Quebec

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Agreements on energy trading to provide savings for Ontario ratepayers and linking the two provinces Cap and Trade systems were only some of the actions taken in key areas during a joint cabinet meeting of Ontario and Quebec, said David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

“By working with our provincial neighbour, our government is working to address tough issues that affect us both and find solutions that will help both provinces,” said Orazietti. “This close working relationship means Ontario and Quebec jointly benefit in areas of economic development, trade and energy.”

Québec Premier Philippe Couillard and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne chaired a joint meeting of cabinet ministers today in Québec City.  At the meeting, the Premiers signed two new Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) as well as an amendment to the Ontario-Québec Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The two Provinces also agreed to take action in several key areas including economic development, energy, pension administration and climate change.

Ontario and Québec committed to collaborate on economic development and agreed to a series of economic roundtables, which will include leaders of the business communities from both provinces. These roundtables will aim to identify initiatives that would support business development, strengthen regional economic growth and job creation, and facilitate action on issues related to investment and the environment.

On energy, the provinces took another significant step in their partnership by signing an MOU that will explore the potential for increased trade in electricity to provide savings to Ontario ratepayers and help meet Ontario’s energy needs through Québec’s clean and renewable electricity supply.

The Government of Ontario’s focus will remain on mitigating costs for Ontario ratepayers and look at a framework where we would be able to import electricity from Quebec at lower rates than it would cost to generate it in Ontario. This MOU will allow Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Hydro Québec (HQEM) to take the next step and work towards a medium-term electricity trade agreement.

Additionally, Ontario and Québec agreed to collaborate to share best practices and information relating to pension administration.

Continuing their leading work in the fight against climate change, during the meeting, Québec and Ontario signed a new MOU which includes collaboration on the intention to link Québec’s cap and trade system with the one under development in Ontario.

Both governments also agreed to convene a joint summit on housing and homelessness in the year ahead. The summit, to which all provinces and territories will be invited, will be an opportunity for a productive exchange of ideas by sharing best practices and presenting key research projects and findings, as well as to map out potential areas for future collaboration.

“Québec and Ontario have a rich history of working together, and Premier Couillard and I are committed to building on that partnership for the benefit of the people of both provinces, as well as the country as a whole. The agreements we reached today take concrete action on the environmental, economic, and social issues that unite us, and will help our region and Canada as a whole thrive both now and in the future. We are committed to concluding a long-term  agreement to purchase clean and affordable energy from Quebec. Energy collaboration is a key element of the Ontario-Quebec partnership”, stated Premier Wynne.