Quebec Premier François Legault arrived in Mississauga, Ont., Tuesday for a two-day summit hosted by Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The two premiers are set to discuss economic recovery amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Both Legault and Ford boasted of a strong bond and how the health crisis has drawn them closer together.
“Over the months we’ve developed a good relationship,” Legault said in French. “It has been intense in the last six months due to the pandemic but we helped each other get through the challenge.
“We are now working on the economic challenge.”
One of the issues raised by the premiers during a press conference ahead of the summit is the growing threat of protectionism, especially from the United States.
“The best response to that is to work together on purchasing,” Legault said. “Buying in Ontario and buying in Quebec.”
The two provinces also hope to use their economic and political clout in negotiations with Ottawa.
“Together we have a GDP of $1.1 trillion,” Ford pointed out, adding that a strong economy in Quebec and Ontario benefits everyone — a point reiterated by Legault.
“I think that together we are very strong. We have 60 per cent of the population, 60 per cent of the economy, 60 per cent of the political weight, so when Ontario and Quebec win, everyone wins,” he said.
Prominent cabinet ministers from both governments, including health, economy and finance ministers, will also take part in multiple meetings during the event.
“We’re happy to host our friends from Quebec and look forward to a real constructive and collaborative relationship,” Ford said.
— With a file from The Canadian Press