Montreal, Toronto sign partnership agreement


MONTREAL – The mayors of Montreal and Toronto signed a formal co-operation and partnership agreement Saturday that they say will allow the two cities to work together to advance their interests.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Toronto Mayor John Tory signed the document at Montreal’s City Hall before heading out to watch a Blue Jays exhibition game at the Olympic Stadium.

The agreement will allow the two cities to share information on issues of mutual interest including governance, jobs, affordable housing, sustainability and transportation.

“What we have figured out in this competitive world is that the competition for jobs, for investment and for progress on sustainable development and social development is not between Montreal and Toronto,” Tory told reporters. “Our goals will be best achieved when we work together and put the resources of the country’s two biggest cities together to get things done.”

Coderre said that since the world’s agenda is increasingly set by cities, it makes sense for Canada’s two largest municipalities to team up.

“If we put our efforts together to put more food on the table, more jobs, more headquarters, better services, I think that’s the focus,” he said.

Coderre and Tory say they also plan to take joint trade missions overseas with the goal of attracting economic investment to both their cities.

“Montreal and Toronto together represent an unbelievable global powerhouse to take out to the rest of the world and sell as places to invest,” Tory said.

Sport was also a strong focus of Saturday’s event ahead of an exhibition game between the Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox in Montreal.

The agreement signed by the mayors includes a promise to work together to promote baseball, and Tory reiterated his support Coderre’s goal of bringing a Major League team back to Montreal.

“The dream of a world series involving the Toronto Blue Jays and the Montreal Expos never came about, and I think it’s time that we got back to making sure there’s an opportunity for that great series,” Tory said.

The Expos moved to Washington, D.C., where they became the Nationals, starting with the 2005 National League season.

Tory also said there was a strong possibility that Toronto would take over hosting the 2017 World Police and Fire games from Montreal. Coderre said in March that the city would no longer host the event after several unions said they would boycott the event in protest over provincial pension reform legislation.

Tory did say the spirit of collaboration would only go so far.

“I’m afraid there will be no co-operation in the area of hockey,” he said.