Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Launch New Era Of Regional Cooperation
Québec City, Québec —The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers gathered today in historic Québec City for their 2015 Leadership Summit. They announced a series of bold actions around the summit’s theme - “Connecting Across Borders” – to strengthen connections within the region, and to better connect the region with the world. Most significantly, they launched a new Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers to coordinate future work. This Conference will bring together the chief executives of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec and Wisconsin as ten equal partners, united in their commitment to sustainably grow the region’s economy.
“Over the last two years, our region has made tremendous progress to grow the economy, protect the environment, and connect across borders,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Council of Great Lakes Governors Chair. “Today, we’re expanding this effort by creating a new level of commitment by all ten States and Provinces to strengthen North America’s heartland. The Governors and Premiers can speak with one voice to promote the interests of the entire region.”
“This Summit is an opportunity to put together our different initiatives, including Québec’s Maritime Strategy, to improve our maritime transportation system, shape regional tourism, and maximize the economic and social potential of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence system. Sustainable development and responsible economic growth have always been core values of our region's work and will continue to guide our future actions, united under the authority of the new Conference,” stated Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec.
Governor Snyder and Premier Couillard are hosting the June 12-14 summit and are joined by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Senior representatives of Indiana Governor Mike Pence; Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf are participating on their behalf during the summit’s events.
The Governors and Premiers today announced a series of ambitious actions to grow the region’s $5 trillion economy and protect the world’s greatest freshwater system. Specific actions include:
- Creating the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers through which the eight States, Ontario and Québec will collaborate to ensure the region’s continuing prosperity;
- Pledging to develop a strategy to double maritime trade, shrink the environmental impact of the region’s transportation network, and support the region’s industrial core;
- Further protecting the region from aquatic invasive species (AIS) by fully operationalizing a regional mutual aid agreement, and launching an innovative pilot program between Michigan, Ohio and Ontario to harmonize AIS regulations;
- Combating nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms through a landmark multi-party agreement;
- Creating a new initiative to foster regional economic clusters based on analysis by Harvard Business School;
- Announcing multi-sector missions to promote exports to China, Europe, South America, and Central Asia.
These actions all build on progress made at the Governors’ and Premiers’ 2013 Leadership Summit on Mackinac Island and their 2014 executive meeting in Chicago.
The Governors and Premiers continue to collaborate with one another, and with other partners, toward shared goals. Prominent speakers at the summit include:
- The Honorable Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States.;
- David Jacobson, Vice Chair, BMO Capital Markets, and former U.S. Ambassador to Canada;
- Allister Paterson, President, Canada Steamship Lines;
- Mark Barker, President, Interlake Steamship Company;
- Michael Sabia, President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec;
- Dr. Christian Ketels, Principal Associate, Harvard Business School;
- Penny Lewandowski, Vice President, Edward Lowe Foundation;
- Derek Vanstone, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Industry and Government Affairs, Air Canada; and,
- Dr. Craig Gordon, Program Manager - National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis.
The Council of Great Lakes Governors serves as secretariat to the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. The Council is a non-partisan partnership of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In 1983, the region’s Governors joined forces to create the Council and tackle the severe environmental and economic challenges then facing the citizens of their States. In more recent years, the Premiers of Ontario and Québec have joined with the Governors in advancing the high performance economy of the entire region. More information on the Governors’ and Premiers’ collaboration and the 2015 Leadership Summit can be found at www.cglg.org. A copy of the Press Release in pdf format can be found HERE.