NEWS

Kathleen Wynne says tone of meeting with Harper 'very positive'

01/06/2015 08:59 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she did not get any firm commitments from Prime Minister Stephen Harper during their meeting Monday night, but they did discuss their joint efforts on a range of shared concerns and for her "that's a tangible result." 

Wynne said the pair agreed to follow up on their discussions and meet again "in a few months."

Wynne opened a news conference with reporters at Queen's Park Tuesday emphasizing how she places a great priority on her relationships with other levels of government, meeting several different premiers and mayors in recent weeks because "we can accomplish more when we work together."

"The personal relationship, knowing each other is important," she told reporters, explaining the importance of meeting with Harper in person. 

"We may not agree on anything... the point is that we're able to agree or disagree and move forward," she said.

Wynne said she was encouraged by their discussion on Ontario's Ring of Fire resource development project.

She said the two levels of government have "different expertise" when it comes to First Nations issues that often is not coordinated, and governments "need to make progress there."

Lobbied for meeting

On Monday night, a release from Harper's spokesman said the two leaders discussed jobs and the economy, and the importance of ongoing investments in infrastructure.

They also discussed the role of resource development for the Ontario and Canadian economies and agreed that they would remain in touch on these and other issues.

Wynne said in a statement Monday that they also discussed the quality of First Nations' drinking water, a commitment to removing provincial trade barriers, and agreed to continue working to secure strategic anchor investments and research and development projects in the auto sector in Ontario.

The Conservative prime minister had last met with the Liberal premier on Dec. 5, 2013, and Wynne had embarked on a public campaign urging Harper to sit down with her.

When Harper was in the Toronto area last month he did not meet with Wynne, but fit in a private meeting with newly elected Toronto Mayor John Tory.

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