Ontario Premier-designate Doug Ford speaks to the media following a meeting with industry representatives in Toronto on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

Doug Ford says he stands with Trudeau on trade despite clashing on other issues

TORONTO — Doug Ford says that while he may clash with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on issues like carbon pricing, he will stand side by side with the federal government when it comes to international trade and protecting Canadian jobs.

Ontario’s newly elected premier-designate stressed the need to present a united front during complex trade negotiations, even as he reaffirmed his plan to scrap the provincial cap-and-trade system and fight upcoming federal rules on carbon pricing.

“Are we going to have some differences internally within the family per se? I’m sure we’ll have a few bumps,” Ford told reporters on Wednesday.

“When it comes about international trade and working with the United States and Mexico, make no mistake about it … we’re going to stand side by side.”

Ford said that while he understands U.S. President Donald Trump is sticking up for his country in recent remarks criticizing Canada and the prime minister, “name-calling” won’t help resolve disagreements on trade between the two countries.

His comments come after Trump called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” in a Twitter post over the weekend after the prime minister spoke against American tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Ford, who met with industry representatives to discuss NAFTA talks on Wednesday, said the American tariffs will hurt jobs on both sides of the border and should be lifted.

“Nothing is beneficial from getting into an argument with each other, it just doesn’t benefit companies, it doesn’t benefit people,” he said.

Ford’s willingness to set aside partisanship and side with the prime minister is “refreshing and encouraging,” and shows he recognizes how high the stakes are for Ontario on this issue, said Myer Siemiatycki, professor of politics at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

“For all the risks — and the risks are real — that we now confront on the trade front, this tension between Canada and the United States has created an opportunity for Mr. Ford to step up, be heard and strike a note that is very much not partisan and may be different from what voters and the people of Ontario had previously expected of Mr. Ford,” he said.

The fact that public opinion is rallying behind Trudeau may be one factor affecting Ford’s decision, however, “there could be an element of let’s demonstrate a degree of national commitment, of ability to play well in the sandbox,” the professor said.

“Most important, it’s a recognition that Ontario needs prime minister Trudeau to be strong, to be clear, to be supported, that any divisiveness of attitudes or views among Canada’s political leaders would only erode Canada and Ontario’s position,” he said.

The Progressive Conservative leader said his top priority is protecting jobs for Ontario workers, which he said he plans to achieve by making the province more globally competitive through lower hydro rates and the elimination of the cap-and-trade system.

Ford did not, however, say whether he would offer specific support for steel workers — something both outgoing Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath have called for.

Horwath urged the premier-designate on Wednesday to provide relief for steel and aluminum workers, such as guaranteed loans for companies in that industry and a package to support individual employees whose jobs are affected.

On Thursday, Ford will sit down with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton for a briefing on NAFTA talks.

Just Posted

Updated: Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to two per cent last… Continue reading

Alberta couple wants cash and charges dropped in meningitis death of their son

CALGARY — An Alberta couple facing a second trial in the meningitis… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada

Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats to be able to vote

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Most Read