Ontario and Québec Strengthen Interprovincial Trade

Ambitious Agreement Will Help Businesses in Both Provinces Remain Competitive and Grow

Queens Park - Québec Premier Philippe Couillard was in Toronto yesterday to deliver a historic address to the Ontario Legislative Assembly. During his visit, Premier Couillard and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also moved forward on a number of commitments from a joint meeting of cabinet ministers last fall, including reinvigorating the Ontario-Québec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (OQTCA). The Premiers announced that negotiations were completed for the renewal of the Agreement’s Procurement Chapter. “This ambitious agreement consolidates the partnership between Québec and Ontario and clearly demonstrates our will to play a prominent role in improving interprovincial trade in Canada. Furthermore, it guarantees our businesses better access to government procurement than would be granted to European businesses in CETA, thus fulfilling an important goal of this negotiation," said Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec.

The new chapter is the most ambitious procurement agreement ever completed by Ontario or Québec. Almost all public entities will be covered for their goods and construction contracts, as well as for the vast majority of their service contracts.

For Ontario and Québec, the new chapter represents the procurement agreement that covers the greatest number of contracting entities and the greatest proportion of contracts awarded by ministries, agencies, municipalities and the broader public sector.

On November 21, 2014, Ontario and Québec adopted a memorandum of understanding aimed at renegotiating the OQTCA Procurement Chapter by April 30, 2015. Negotiators of both governments reached an agreement in principle by the deadline. Premiers welcome this agreement in principle, which will be legally reviewed and then signed by the ministers responsible, Mr. Jacques Daoust, Québec Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, and Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, before coming into effect in 2016.

• With a combined GDP of more than $1 trillion, the Ontario-Québec region is the fourth largest in North America, after California, Texas and New York.

• Québec and Ontario are major economic players in Canada, accounting for nearly two thirds of its population, almost 60% of its total production and 70% of its manufacturing sector. Quebecers and Ontarians occupy more than 70% of the manufacturing jobs in Canada.

• Trade with Ontario represents more than 60% of Québec’s interprovincial trade, while trade with Québec represents nearly 40% of Ontario’s trade with other provinces.

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