Chapter Two Economic Cooperation

Article 2.1: Objectives

  1. The Parties agree to establish conditions for an increasingly integrated economy in the Ontario-Québec region, one that sustains and promotes a business environment that is more responsive to economic challenges and opportunities and that promotes greater trade, productivity, competitiveness and prosperity through enhanced synergy between the Parties.
  2. The Parties agree to build a more integrated economy where business connections are strengthened and where economic cooperation promotes greater coherence and complementarityof government policies and measures between the Parties.
  3. The Parties agree to engage in closer economic cooperation for the purposes of generating investment and creating high-value jobs in the Ontario-Québec region through the:
    1. creation of joint institutional mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of the Agreement;
    2. initiation of joint projects aimed at strengthening economic cooperation in key sectors; and
    3. development of a more integrated infrastructure aimed at strengthening the economic network throughout the Ontario-Québec region.

Article 2.2: Ministerial Council

  1. Each Party shall designate the Minister responsible for economic development as the Minister responsible for this Agreement.
  2. The Parties shall establish a Ministerial Council comprising the Minister of each Party responsible for the Agreement, who shall preside over the activities of the Ministerial Council.
  3. The Ministerial Council shall:
    1. supervise the implementation of and adherence to the Agreement by the Parties;
    2. oversee any further negotiations or amendments to the Agreement;
    3. assist in the resolution of disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Agreement;
    4. consult with and invite other Ministers to participate in its meetings, as deemed necessary;
    5. initiate further negotiations to reduce barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility;
    6. ensure, where practicable, cohesion on economic policy decisions related to the Agreement and other economic policies of the Parties;
    7. promote consistency and complementarity on decisions related to large-scale infrastructure projects that benefit both Parties;
    8. provide a forum for strategic discussions about joint solutions to common economic challenges and opportunities;
    9. request, receive and consider reports from the Secretariat, the Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation, the Private Sector Advisory Committee and all other committees and working groups created under this Agreement, including reports issued pursuant to commitments set out Part IV (Specific Commitments and Rules);
    10. manage trade barrier reduction, cooperative activities and projects under the Agreement and consider the adoption of additional activities and projects; and
    11. consider any other matter that could affect the operation of the Agreement.
  4. The Ministerial Council:
    1. shall be convened annually in regular session and be chaired successively by each Party; and
    2. may be convened in special session at any time at the agreement of both Parties.

Article 2.3:  Secretariat

  1. The Ministerial Council shall establish and oversee a Secretariat, comprised of Sections.
  2. Each Party shall:
    1. establish a permanent office of its Section within its Ministry responsible for the Agreement;
    2. be responsible for the operation and costs of its Section; and
    3. designate an individual to serve as Section Secretary, who shall be responsible for the Section’s administration and management.
  3. The Secretary Chair shall be the Section Secretary whose Minister currently chairs the Ministerial Council.
  4. The Secretariat shall:
    1. assist and support the Ministerial Council in the fulfillment of its obligations;
    2. prepare and organize, under the direction of the Secretary Chair, the regular and special meetings of the Ministerial Council;
    3. circulate decisions made by the Ministerial Council at its regular and special sessions;
    4. provide administrative support to dispute settlement Panels established under Chapter 12 (Dispute Resolution);
    5. create a repository for reports and other information submitted by Ministers, committees and groups under the Agreement;
    6. establish an enquiry point within each Section capable of responding to requests for information from the public about matters covered by the Agreement; and
    7. as the Ministerial Council directs:
      1. support the work of committees and groups established under this Agreement;
      2. facilitate an annual economic forum;
      3. foster cooperation and create synergy between business leaders, public officials and academic circles, notably through an annual forum between academic institutions in Ontario and Québec;
      4. oversee special projects, such as joint trade missions or joint participation in trade fairs and other international fora; and
      5. otherwise facilitate the operation and management of the Agreement.

Article 2.4: Private Sector Advisory Committee1

  1. The Parties shall establish a Private Sector Advisory Committee consisting of private sector representatives from each Party.
  2. The Private Sector Advisory Committee shall be composed of at least ten members, with an equal number of members being chosen by each Party.
  3. The Ministerial Council shall:
    1. on an annual basis, appoint one member from Quebec and one member from Ontario of the Private Sector Advisory Committee to be the chairpersons of the Private Sector Advisory Committee; and
    2. invite the Private Sector Advisory Committee to:
      1. advise the Ministerial Council on matters pertaining to activities under Article 2.5;
      2. advise the Ministerial Council on other matters concerning the Agreement; and
      3. report to the Ministerial Council at each annual meeting.

Article 2.5: Economic Cooperation Activities

  1. The Parties agree to pursue the cooperation activities set out in the Agreement.
  2. The Parties agree to further develop and implement the cooperative activities outlined in Annex 2.5.
  3. The Parties agree to identify and undertake additional economic cooperation activities and priority initiatives as directed by the Ministerial Council and may modify Annex 2.5 accordingly.
  4. The Parties agree to establish a working group to evaluate how to maximize economic benefits to the Ontario-Québec region of their respective governments' procurement policies. The working group shall report on its findings to the Ministerial Council no later than twelve (12) months after the entry into force of the Agreement.

Article 2.6: Investment

  1. The Parties reaffirm their commitments to reduce and eliminate barriers to investment under Chapter 6 (Investment) of the Agreement on Internal Trade.
  2. The Parties agree to create a working group to examine the following:
    1. the need to strengthen investor rights;
    2. the need to reduce investment distortions arising from government support in the context of this Agreement; and
    3. the requirements listed in Annex 604.4 (Local Presence and Residency Requirements) of the Agreement on Internal Trade and whether such requirements should be retained, removed or replaced.
  3. The Parties agree that the working group established to examine the items in paragraph 2 shall report to the Ministerial Council on their findings within twelve (12) months of the entry into force of the Agreement.

Article 2.7: Definitions

In this Chapter:

Secretary Chair means the chairperson of the Secretariat;

Section(s) means each Party’s section of the Secretariat, comprised of the appointed representatives of each Party; and

Section Secretary means the person appointed by each Party pursuant to Article 2.3(2)(c).

Western Climate Initiative is an initiative, launched in February 2007, comprised of seven U.S. governors and four Canadian Premiers, in order to identify, evaluate, develop and implement collective and cooperative ways to reduce greenhouse gases in the region, focusing on a broad market-based cap-and-trade system as part of this comprehensive regional effort.

Annex 2.5
Cooperation Activities

A. Manufacturing and Other Selected Sectors
  1. The Parties agree that their manufacturing sectors face significant and common challenges. As such, the Parties agree to:
    1. make joint representations to the federal government regarding issues of mutual concern;
    2. take steps to facilitate the necessary adjustment of the manufacturing sector throughout the region, taking into account the comparative advantages of each Party;
    3. enhance the brand image of the manufacturing sector, which has suffered due to job losses, particularly among the young skilled workforce.
  2. The Parties agree to work together under the auspices of the Western Climate Initiative. In doing so, the Parties agree to compare and evaluate the actions of their respective manufacturing sectors regarding the management of greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. The Parties agree to investigate other sectors of mutual interest to determine common issues and areas of collaborative industrial cooperation.
B. Innovation Corridors
  1. The Parties recognize the important economic contribution of innovation corridors, which are networks between businesses and public research organizations. These networks collaborate on common projects in the field of innovation and are funded both publicly and privately.
  2. Cooperation in the field of innovation will make the Ontario-Québec region more competitive and more attractive to foreign investment. Accordingly, the Parties agree to develop and pursue, where appropriate, joint activities:
    1. designed to attract foreign investment in innovation, with the clear understanding that each Party may determine its own policies in this regard; and
    2. to assess the strengths of selected sectors in the Ontario-Québec region in the area of innovation for the purposes of undertaking joint marketing of such sectors to demand markets abroad.
  3. The Parties agree that the cooperation objectives with respect to innovation corridors are to:
    1. intensify innovation capabilities;
    2. alleviate trade and investment barriers arising from the existence of conflicting or duplicative administrative requirements;
    3. foster cross-regional networking among business, universities and research centres; and
    4. provide developing businesses with a larger support network.
  4. The Parties agree to:
    1. foster the creation of innovation corridors for the following sectors:
      1. life sciences;
      2. optical photonics; and
      3. clean technologies;
    2. develop a joint proposal for cooperation in each of the sectors set out in paragraph (a) in cooperation with the private sector, including the Private Sector Advisory Committee, based on the objectives set out in paragraph 3;
    3. fund jointly a study assessing the Ontario-Québec regional market in one or more of the above sectors; and
    4. assess other sectors for the purposes of creating additional innovation corridors.
C. Infrastructure
  1. To facilitate a more integrated economic region, the Parties undertake to plan the development of infrastructure, including joint services, systems and facilities, in a spirit of enhanced cohesion and complementarity.
  2. The Parties agree to improve the integration of transportation infrastructure with a view to achieving greater interconnectivity of existing transportation networks.
  3. In pursuit of the objectives in paragraph 2, the Parties agree to give priority to the following projects in collaboration with the federal government:
    1. feasibility of a high-speed rail link connecting Windsor and Québec City; and
    2. a joint Ontario-Québec transportation strategy as part of the Ontario-Québec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor.
D. Environmental Cooperation
  1. The Parties agree to work together to provide leadership in the areas of environment and sustainable development by giving priority to the promotion of information exchange and joint cooperation related to transboundary environmental impacts in accordance with the Agreement Concerning Transboundary Environmental Impacts between the Government of Ontario and the Gouvernement du Québec; and
  2. The Parties agree to work together, co-operatively and with other provinces, territories and states, to provide leadership in the areas of environment and sustainable development by giving priority to the development of a regional greenhouse gas emissions trading system, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ontario and the Government of Québec concerning a Provincial-Territorial Cap and Trade Initiative and the proposed design principles of the Western Climate Initiative, and that seeks to align with the emerging North American system, to facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy and to encourage technological innovation, economic growth and job creation in the green economy.
E. Tourism
  1. The Parties recognize the important economic contribution of their tourism sectors and that increased cooperation and collaborative initiatives in this sector would lead to economic gains for both Parties.
  2. The Parties agree to:
    1. make joint representations to the federal government regarding issues of mutual concern; and
    2. undertake joint tourism marketing activities.

1 As modified by the September 2010 First Protocol of Amendment

Chapter Three Regulatory Cooperation

Article 3.1: Enhancing Regulatory Cooperation

  1. The Parties agree that regulatory dialogue and cooperation have the potential to enhance their relationship, strengthen the ability of each Party to protect the public and the environment, promote economic efficiencies and improve the overall quality of regulatory governance.
  2. The Parties shall, to the extent possible:
    1. consult on regulatory development and requirements;
    2. exchange information on regulatory matters;
    3. conduct joint research on regulations and their impacts, especially on business, trade and investment;
    4. compare regulatory methods and instruments;
    5. examine opportunities for reconciliation, harmonization, mutual recognition or other ways of minimizing differences in existing and future regulation;
    6. reconcile regulatory requirements and conformity assessment; and
    7. participate cooperatively in national, regional and international standards and regulatory development organizations to which they belong.
  3. Each Party shall encourage regulatory bodies whose regulatory requirements must be approved by a Party to cooperate and share information as provided in paragraph 2.

Article 3.2: Legislative Cooperation

As much as possible and without interfering with the privileges of the Ontario Legislature or Québec National Assembly, the Parties agree to share information and comments on their legislative intents with a view to minimizing the creation of obstacles to trade and movement of goods, services, persons and investment between the territories of the two Parties.

Article 3.3: Scope and Coverage

  1. Subject to paragraph 2, this Chapter applies to regulatory requirements made or approved under an Act of the Legislature by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council or by a Minister.
  2. Article 3.5 applies only to a regulatory requirement made or approved under an Act of the Legislature by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council, but does not apply to a regulatory requirement that concerns expenditures.

Article 3.4: Regulatory Policy and Principles

  1. Each Party shall establish a Cabinet-endorsed policy regarding the overall development and administration of regulatory requirements based on the principles and rules set out in paragraphs 2 and 3.
  2. The Parties agree that their regulatory requirements:
    1. respond to a clearly identified need for regulation;
    2. are developed and implemented in a transparent manner;
    3. are designed to be least trade restrictive;
    4. are based on assessed risks, costs and benefits and minimized impacts on a fair, competitive and innovative market economy;
    5. minimize differences and duplication, where appropriate, between the Parties;
    6. are results-based, where appropriate and to the extent practicable;
    7. are timely and reviewed on a routine basis and are not maintained if the need giving rise to their adoption no longer exists; and
    8. are made easily accessible and written in language that can be easily understood by the public.
  3. In the process of adopting or reviewing a regulatory requirement, each Party shall assess the impacts of the requirement on investors and investments of the other Party and on trade and labour mobility between the Parties.
  4. Each Party shall provide a copy of its Cabinet-endorsed policy to the other and make it available to the public.

Article 3.5: Transparency

  1. Each Party shall ensure that regulatory requirements respecting any matter covered by the Agreement are promptly published or otherwise made available in such a manner as to enable interested persons and the other Party to become acquainted with them.
  2. Subject to paragraphs 4 and 5, where a proposed regulatory requirement may have a significant effect on the access of persons, goods, services or investments of another Party, each Party shall:
    1. publish in advance the regulatory text and a summary of the expected impacts of any such regulatory requirement that it proposes to adopt;
    2. provide the other Party and interested persons from the other Party a reasonable opportunity and a minimum period of forty-five (45) days to comment on such proposed regulatory requirements;
    3. accept written comments from ministerial authorities of the other Party on the effects of the proposal on investors and investments of the other Party and on trade or labour mobility between the Parties and take the comments into account;
    4. on request, discuss the comments with the other Party and take the results of the discussions into account; and
    5. on request, explain the reasons behind any decision not to adoptthe other Party’s comments.
  3. Further to paragraph 2,
    1. Ontario shall post regulatory proposals subject to paragraph 2 on the Regulatory Registry.
    2. Québec shall post regulatory proposals subject to paragraph 2 in the Gazette Officielle du Québec.
    3. Neither Party shall charge a fee for on-line access by the Regulatory Coordinator of the other Party to the publications referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).
  4. Where a Party considers it necessary to address an urgent problem, it may omit any step set out in paragraphs 2 and 3, provided that on adoption of a regulatory requirement it shall:
    1. immediately provide to the other Party information of the type required under paragraph 2, including a brief description of the urgent problem;
    2. on request, provide a copy of the measure to the other Party; and
    3. allow the other Party to make comments in writing and, on request, discuss the comments.
  5. Paragraphs 2 and 3 do not apply to measures:
    1. relating to taxation, except for regulatory requirements relating to administrative processes and formalities attached to the collection of fiscal revenues, including fees and royalties, by government; or
    2. where as a consequence of statutory requirements, the publication of a proposed regulatory requirement would adversely affect the administration or operation of a government program.
  6. Where a Party allows non-governmental persons in its territory who may suffer prejudicial economic consequences as a result of the adoption of a regulatory requirement to intervene in the regulatory development process, that Party shall allow the same privilege to non-governmental persons from the other Party who may suffer similar consequences.

Article 3.6: Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation

  1. The Parties shall establish a Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation, composed of representatives from each Party.
  2. The Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation shall:
    1. meet at least once per year and on request of a Party;
    2. report annually to the Ministerial Council on its activities and on the implementation of this Chapter.
  3. The functions of the Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation shall include:
    1. monitoring the implementation and administration of this Chapter, including the progress of subcommittees and working groups established under paragraph 4;
    2. identifying areas where regulations conflict, overlap, are duplicated or are otherwise incompatible and reporting annually to the Ministerial Council;
    3. facilitating cooperation among regulators and their efforts to harmonize, mutually recognize or otherwise make compatible their regulatory measures;
    4. enhancing cooperation on the development, application and enforcement of regulatory measures; and
    5. monitoring non-governmental, regional, national and international developments regarding regulation and regulatory governance;
  4. The Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation may, as it considers appropriate, establish and determine the scope and mandate of subcommittees or working groups, comprising representatives of each Party and other interested persons as appropriate.

Article 3.7: Regulatory Coordinator

  1. Each Party shall designate a Regulatory Coordinator who will co-chair the Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation.
  2. Each Party shall ensure that the Regulatory Coordinator responds to all reasonable inquiries from the other Party, and provides relevant information and documents regarding:
    1. any regulatory requirement proposed, adopted or maintained in its territory;
    2. access to notices published pursuant to Article 3.5, or information where such notices may be obtained; and
    3. the follow-up of comments made by the other Party pursuant to Article 3.5.

Article 3.8: Entry into Force

This Chapter shall enter into force six (6) months following the entry into force of the Agreement.

Article 3.9: Definitions

In this Chapter:

Regulatory requirement:
For Ontario, means a regulation subject to Part III of the Legislation Act, 2006 Chapter 21, Annex F; and
For Québec, means a regulation subject to the Regulations Act, RSQ, Chapter R-18.1;

Regulatory bodies means non-governmental bodies and organizations that have been provided delegated regulatory authority by the Legislature of a Party;

Regulatory Coordinator means the coordinators designated pursuant to Article 3.7 of this Agreement; and

Regulatory Registry means the public internet site maintained by the Government of Ontario on which regulatory proposals that may affect business are posted, located at:

Chapter Four Energy Cooperation

Article 4.1: Purpose

The Parties recognize that it is desirable to strengthen the important role that cooperation in energy policies plays in the Ontario-Québec economic region.

Article 4.2: Scope and Coverage

This Chapter applies to cooperation in energy policies.

Article 4.3: Objectives

  1. The primary objectives of this Chapter are to improve the economic efficiency of the energy sector and to increase the reliability of energy supply and energy infrastructure, within Ontario and Québec.
  2. The Parties shall jointly promote enhanced inter-jurisdictional cooperation in energy policies and a modern, reliable, and environmentally responsible and efficient series of energy transmission and transportation networks.

Article 4.4: Cooperation

The Parties agree to cooperate and coordinate their efforts in order to achieve the objectives set out under Article 4.3, including their best efforts to:

  1. improve knowledge-sharing on energy efficiency, conservation and demand management, and to identify and act on opportunities for harmonization of related standards, codes and programs;
  2. work toward joint technological and policy development for emerging and renewable energy technologies, including exploration of opportunities for joint research and research networks on renewable energy, and opportunities for shared ownership and commercialization of joint research;
  3. mandate their respective Entities to explore ways to enhance interconnectedness for clean and renewable energy exchanges, based on identifying and addressing financial, institutional and physical barriers to those exchanges;
  4. build on the synergies between the electricity systems of the Parties and work towards more interconnected electricity systems by identifying and acting on opportunities to improve planning coordination, co-operation on energy system operations, and encouragement of greater electricity interconnectedness, where practical;
  5. continue to explore opportunities and develop principles for co-operation during energy emergencies and enhanced cooperation during emergency reliability situations; and
  6. explore principles and opportunities for the development and harmonization of broader regional energy systems, including extra-jurisdictional co-operation where practical.

Article 4.5: Transparency

  1. The Parties agree that transparent energy markets and systems contribute to greater efficiency and effectiveness, are conducive to greater cooperation and collaboration, reduce the risk of misunderstanding and facilitate the sharing of information and ideas.
  2. Each Party shall provide a contact person to answer all reasonable enquiries from the other Party and to provide relevant information regarding any energy measure that is proposed, adopted or maintained by its Government.

Article 4.6: Energy Cooperation Activities

  1. The Parties agree to pursue the cooperative activities listed in Article 4.4 and to implement a work plan no later than six (6) months following the entry into force of the Agreement.
  2. The Parties agree to identify and undertake additional energy cooperation activities as directed by Energy Ministers.

Article 4.7: Cooperation by Ministers Responsible for Energy

  1. The Ministers of each Party responsible for energy are responsible for this Chapter and shall meet at the request of a Party.
  2. Ministers may make amendments to this Chapter, subject to the endorsement of the Ministerial Council.
  3. Ministers shall:
    1. monitor the implementation and management of this Chapter;
    2. assist in the resolution of issues;
    3. provide a forum for discussion about joint solutions to common energy challenges and opportunities;
    4. receive and consider reports from the Energy Cooperation Committee;
    5. oversee the program of energy cooperation activities under the Chapter and consider the adoption of additional activities and projects; and
    6. participate, as necessary, in the activities and meetings of the Ministerial Council.

Article 4.8: Energy Cooperation Committee

  1. The Parties agree to create an Energy Cooperation Committee to be co-chaired by the Parties.
  2. Each Party shall designate a senior official who shall co-chair the Committee.
  3. The Committee shall:
    1. assist and support Ministers in the fulfillment of their obligations under the Chapter;
    2. oversee the day-to-day implementation and management of the Chapter;
    3. identify opportunities and develop options for consideration by Ministers for additional cooperative activities; and
    4. report annually to Ministers.

Article 4.9: Definitions

In this Chapter:

Entities mean those governmental bodies, agencies, corporations, or other institutions under the direct purview of the government regulating prices and supply conditions of energy goods.

Ministers means Ministers of each Party responsible for energy.