Regional Leaders Confab In Detroit

Michigan governor Rick Snyder address the media at the Art Gallery of Windsor, on 20 October 2017, as Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec's minister of transportation, André Fortin, look on.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder address the media at the Art Gallery of Windsor, on 20 October 2017, as Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec’s minister of transportation, André Fortin, look on.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(WINDSOR, ON) – The Great Lakes and St Lawrence Governors and Premiers Summit kicked off today when co-hosts, Michigan and Ontario, presented a press conference at the Art Gallery of Windsor, over-looking the Detroit River. Representatives of eight states and two provinces are meeting to discuss how to propel the region’s growth and promote international opportunities.

With an eye toward trade, tourism, and transportation, the coalition has already passed a number of resolutions, including the collaboration on autonomous shipping and vehicles, a commitment to guard against invasive aquatic species, the promotion of cross-border trade, and the management of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence as a harmonized transportation system.

“We have to make sure we protect, enhance, and enjoy these wonderful waters,” said Michigan governor Rick Snyder. “They’re one of the greatest assets in the world. We should be proud of that.”

The economic goals of the summit are to enhance competitiveness, grow the regional economy, and create jobs by further pursuing international trade, upgrading maritime transportation, and marketing the region’s tourism destinations.

Quebec's minister of transportation, André Fortin listens to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne on the eve of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Governors and Premiers Summit, in Windsor on 20 October 2017. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Quebec’s minister of transportation, André Fortin listens to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne on the eve of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Governors and Premiers Summit, in Windsor on 20 October 2017.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

On the environmental side of the house, the governors and premiers are seeking to improve water quality and the protection against algae blooms.

“We’re here together to work across the borders at a time when one of the cornerstones of our cross the border partnership is at stake,” said Ontario premier Wynne. “At this moment in our history it is even more important that we demonstrate how important it is to work across those borders.”

The summit will continue with two days of meetings and negotiation in Detroit.

“If you step back and look at things, we’re an economic powerhouse, when you combine us together,” said Snyder. “We’re one of the largest economies in the world…This is really about a true partnership on the Canadian side and the US side.”

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.