Mandate letter progress: Intergovernmental Affairs
The Minister’s response letter to Premier Wynne, outlining the results achieved on key mandate priorities in 2014-15.
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January 11, 2016
From the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
I am pleased to provide an update on the delivery of the commitments outlined in the mandate letter for the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. By strengthening relationships and engaging with governments across Canada and internationally, we have made important contributions to our province’s prosperity.
Working with our Federal Partners
Ontario is building a positive and productive relationship with the new federal government. We have already taken several important steps towards strengthening that relationship, including:
- An October 2015 meeting with Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau to discuss how Ontario and the federal government can work together on key priorities such as infrastructure and climate change.
- A November 2015 First Ministers’ Meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss how provinces and territories can work together with the federal government to combat climate change and welcome more Syrian refugees to Canada.
- The Prime Minister’s Canadian delegation at the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties on climate change (COP21) in France, in which Ontario joined the federal government to support Canada’s renewed ambition toward fighting climate change, and demonstrate the important role provinces play in meeting international commitments.
Investing in Infrastructure and Economic Growth
Ontario has successfully led the charge to put infrastructure on the national agenda.
- We have called for a Canadian Infrastructure Partnership that would set an investment target of five per cent of GDP for infrastructure spending in Canada.
- In the fall of 2015, the federal government committed to investing an additional $60 billion over the next 10 years towards infrastructure projects, and I look forward to working with the federal government to support Ontario’s infrastructure priorities.
Strengthening Ontario’s Election System
Modernizing our election system is another key priority for our government.
- In June 2015, we introduced the Electoral Boundaries Act, which was passed on December 2, 2015. The act adds 15 new seats in the legislature to improve representation in Southern Ontario, while maintaining the 11 existing ridings in Northern Ontario. The new ridings will be in place for the next scheduled election in 2018.
Creating Opportunity and Prosperity with Canada’s Premiers
Meetings of Canada’s premiers remain an important opportunity for Ontario to work across provincial-territorial boundaries to grow the economy, create jobs and boost skills.
- Ontario is taking a leadership role in the federation by co-chairing initiatives on internal trade, health, productivity and innovation.
- I am pleased to highlight two key milestones that we have recently accomplished through our work with our provincial and territorial partners:
- We ensured that a strong emphasis on climate change and energy innovation was included in the finalized Canadian Energy Strategy.
- We signed a new protocol that ensures the training and work experience that our apprentices already possess are recognized as they move across the country.
- Bilateral meetings were held with many premiers throughout 2015 to continue to build these important partnerships.
Expanding our Collaboration with Québec
Our relationship with Québec helps both of our provinces prosper.
- Ontario and Québec have held two joint meetings of Cabinet ministers (in November 2014 and September 2015), where we made significant progress on a number of shared priorities.
- For example, we have agreed to exchange electricity capacity to help make power more reliable, work together with the intention to link our cap and trade programs, and collaborate on social housing and children’s welfare.
- Ontario will host the next joint meeting of Cabinet ministers with Québec in 2016.
Promoting Ontario’s Strengths Internationally
Trade missions showcase Ontario’s strengths in priority international markets.
- I have undertaken two trade missions to China, in 2014 and 2015, which have generated agreements valued at close to $3.8 billion.
- During these missions, I led delegations from Ontario cleantech and science and technology companies, connected them with new market opportunities and promoted Ontario as an ideal place to do business.
- In May 2015, I travelled to Washington, D.C. and New York City to strengthen Ontario’s strategic relationship with key United States partners.
- In October 2015, I travelled to California to strengthen ties between North America’s two most dynamic technology and film hubs.
- In the fall of 2015, I attended COP21 in Paris, where I was honoured to represent Ontario at several key events to promote our province’s subnational leadership on climate change action.
- While at the conference, Ontario joined Québec and Manitoba in signing a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate our intent to link our cap and trade programs under the Western Climate Initiative.
- This important work builds on the momentum that came out of the Climate Summit of the Americas, which Ontario hosted in Toronto in July 2015.
- In 2016, I will embark on missions to India, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan to build on our existing relationships, create new partnerships and promote Ontario as a centre for investment.
I would like to recognize the tremendous effort on the part of the staff at the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. Together, we look forward to ensuring that ministry objectives are achieved in their entirety, and that the citizens of Ontario continue to be well served by their government.
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
|Mandate Letter Commitment||Progress to Date|
|Develop a framework that identifies priorities and includes a recommended approach to relationship-building, strategic communications and engagement with other governments and partners.|
|In all matters of both national and provincial significance, the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs (MIA) will continue to provide support for the government’s efforts to call for leadership and partnership from the federal government. This will enable our government to champion the building of a better social union for all Canadians, as well as a more efficient, more effective and more competitive economic union that allows Canadians to thrive.|
|Working with the Minister of Finance and other ministers to advance Ontario’s interests by developing principled options related to the modernization of fiscal arrangements with the federal government — and equalization reforms that treat Ontario fairly. In particular, I will work with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to advocate for predictable and dedicated federal support for infrastructure as part of the modernization of the fiscal arrangements.|
|Working with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to create an efficient, effective and competitive economic union. I will champion the reduction of interprovincial trade barriers, as appropriate and consistent with Ontario’s broader interests, by supporting the minister’s work on a proposal to update the Agreement on Internal Trade.|
|Continuing to develop and maintain strong relations with all of Ontario’s provincial and territorial partners in the Council of the Federation (COF). In particular, I will continue to build Ontario’s relationship with Québec — including holding joint Ontario-Québec Cabinet meetings — to the benefit of both provinces.|
|Working with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to create a new Premiers’ Productivity and Innovation Council to gather best practices in innovation and productivity. I will present this council to other provinces and territories as a model to be considered for pan-Canadian co-operation.|
|Working with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, I will play an active role in creating an efficient and effective economic partnership with the United States — especially with the Great Lakes states — and with Ontario’s priority global markets in Europe, Asia and Central America/South America.|
|Advancing Ontario’s international interests in my role as Premier on the COF’s Mission to China in October 2014, and working with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade to support similar trade missions in the future.|
|Continuing the vital role of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs’ Office of International Relations and Protocol as our government’s chief point of contact for foreign consular and diplomatic offices, and visiting dignitaries in Ontario.|
|Working with the Minister of Energy, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and other provinces and territories to develop a Canadian Energy Strategy that will ensure a clean, reliable and sustainable energy supply. Working to ensure that this strategy balances national interests with the unique needs of the provinces and territories.|
|My goal is to improve energy efficiency and conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster innovation in the energy sector. I will also work to ensure that the strategy includes a focus on facilitating imports and exports of electricity between Ontario and its neighbouring provinces.|
|Supporting efforts to encourage federal partnership in addressing the climate change challenge — which is both local and global in scale.|
|Working with the Attorney General to bring forward a legislative proposal pertaining to Ontario’s electoral boundaries.|
|Working with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities on Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs), including collaborating on proposals made to the federal government.|