Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ont. Premier Wants Obama to Think About Canada

(Jonathan Jenkins — Sun Media)

Cars, caps and customs are all Dalton McGuinty wants to hear about when U.S. President Barack Obama visits Ottawa tomorrow.

The Ontario premier met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday and said he hopes and expects the PM to talk about the auto sector, the border and a continental cap and trade system for carbon emissions with his guest.

“I’m hoping the prime minister will raise a few issues that are a concern to Ontarians,” McGuinty said this morning.

The continuing woes of the North American automakers are an obvious topic, as Canada and Ontario want to maintain their 20% stake in the dwindling industry – and have offered $4 billion in government aid to do so.

But with most of the decisions on that file being made in Washington, it will be critical that Obama takes the Canadian position to heart.

The thickening of the Canadian border is another longstanding Ontario worry as most of the province’s goods head south.

“We need to strike the appropriate balance between a secure border and a border at the same time that permits trade, the passage of goods and people,” McGuinty said. Read more here.