Québec and Ontario held their seventh joint meeting of cabinet ministers in Québec City today, building on a long history of productive partnership between them. The meeting was an opportunity to continue the governments’ progress in the areas of innovation, economic growth and climate change.
A new step in accelerating the growth of information and communications technology was taken today as Premier Philippe Couillard and Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a new Memorandum of Understanding that will see Québec and Ontario strengthen their cooperation in the development of Artificial Intelligence. Building on existing investments, the agreement will boost the provinces’ competitive advantage in the field of AI by expanding opportunities for collaboration in research, talent attraction, skills development and business growth.
Together, Ontario and Québec will support advancements in the design and commercialization of innovative technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, speech recognition, fraud detection, and medical imaging and diagnosis. Increasing support for the provinces’ already leading-edge advanced technology sector will further attract investments and talent from around the globe while creating highly skilled jobs across Québec and Ontario. The two cabinets discussed the need to deepen understanding of potential social and other impacts of artificial intelligence. Today’s announcement also brings a new dimension to the provinces’ ongoing high-tech collaboration, particularly in the field of digital communication – 5G networks.
Earlier in the day, the Premiers signed an agreement on climate change with Governor of California, Jerry Brown, which reflected the importance of working with U.S. partners. Cabinet ministers also discussed how to sustain and improve relationships with Canada’s most important trading partner, building on efforts by Québec and Ontario throughout this year. Special focus was put on NAFTA and softwood lumber, as negotiators for Québec and Ontario were in attendance to brief both cabinets on the latest developments and next steps in negotiations.
Previous joint meetings between Ontario and Québec have led to advances on common goals of growing the economy, attracting businesses and investments, and protecting our shared environment.
Through their joint meetings of cabinet members and work year-round, Québec and Ontario have strengthened their long-standing relationship, creating opportunities and greater prosperity within the provinces — and across Canada.
- The Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms and Ontario’s Vector Institute are key players in the emerging field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- The Québec government will dedicate $100 million over the next five years to create a cluster in artificial intelligence. Ontario is investing $50 million in artificial intelligence through the Vector Institute, which in turn helped Vector attract over $85 million in private sponsorship.
- Trade in goods and services between Québec and Ontario has grown by nearly 11 per cent over the past 10 years, from $75.8 billion to $84 billion.
- Ontario and Québec form Canada’s largest economic region and are responsible for more than half of Canada’s total GDP and interprovincial trade.
“The 21st century is bringing a wave of change around the world that we are just beginning to appreciate. In this context, we have begun a profound transformation in Québec, which is based on the innovation, creativity and know-how of Québecers. In Montreal, the artificial intelligence sector is growing and partnerships such as the one announced today allow us to better share knowledge and strengthen our leadership role.”
“Every time the governments of Ontario and Québec meet, we make real progress on the things that matter most to people and businesses across our provinces. I am so pleased to continue our long tradition of working together, sharing resources and ideas on common opportunities and challenges, such as innovation, climate change and economic growth. Our relationship is strong and, in turn, our commitment to cooperation strengthens Canada as a whole.”