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08 Nov

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Current: Fall / Winter 2018

November 8, 2018 | By |

Your complete source for news and insights about the binational Great Lakes Region, and information about the activities of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. Read More

06 Nov

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Cleveland, Ohio announced as location of the fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum

November 6, 2018 | By |

November 6, 2018

Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario – Today, the Council of the Great Lakes Region announced that Cleveland, Ohio will host the Great Lakes Economic Forum from May 6-8, 2019. The event engages business, governmental, political, academic and non-profit leaders from the eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec in strategic discussions about finding new ways of harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations.

“Cleveland plays a vital role in the revitalization and economic recovery of the Great Lakes Region,” Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelly said. “We are pleased the City of Cleveland will host the fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum, and look forward to engaging with our regional partners on issues that will impact Cleveland’s and the Great Lakes Region’s success, such as trade and investment, innovation, infrastructure renewal, manufacturing, job creation, and smart and sustainable cities.”

Cleveland and Ohio have long recognized the value of inter-state partnerships and cross border collaboration with Canada, especially the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in 2017, Ohio exported $50.1 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from the state supported an estimated 249,000 jobs. The state’s largest market was Canada. Ohio exported $19.0 billion in goods to Canada in 2017, representing 38 percent of the state’s total goods exports. Further, Canada is a significant source of investment for Ohio. The 291 Canadian-owned companies operating in the state provide over 25,000 jobs, with an average annual wage of US$45,930.

“The size and significance of the Great Lakes economy rivals almost all of the world’s leading nations,” said William D. Friedman, President & CEO, Port of Cleveland and member of the Council’s board of directors. “But as global commerce expands, investment flows quicken, and the mobility of talent and ideas accelerates, we must work regionally to reimagine how we are going to compete in a global climate of interconnected markets and supply chains, from growing more food for the world’s hungry and creating the industries and innovations of the future, to fighting climate change. I’m pleased the Council’s economic Forum is coming to Ohio, as this public-private sector event allows us to tackle these issues head-on.”

The Forum’s theme, From Partnership Flows Sustainable Prosperity, signifies that in today’s global economy, the two countries, along with regional governments, industry and academia, must work together like never before to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in building the most prosperous, innovative, sustainable, and welcoming cross-border region in the world. More information about the Forum can be found at http://greatlakeseconomicforum.com.

Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region adds, “The Council is committed to positioning the Great Lakes Region to lead the new economy and understands that when our workers, families and sectors succeed in era of rapid and constant change, the entire Region succeeds in inter-connected global economy. By working together, we can make the Great Lakes ‘the’ place to live, work, learn, do business, invest, and innovate.”

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council is a binational non-profit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger, more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate through policy research and programs, connecting leaders from all levels of government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

Media Contacts:

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
Council of the Great Lakes Region
(613) 668-2044 / mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

26 Oct

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Panel of Experts to Investigate Protection of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River

October 26, 2018 | By |

Panel of Experts to Investigate Protection of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River

Stakeholder-Led Collaborative Strategy receives federal funding

Toronto, ON, Friday, October 26, 2018 – Today, an independent panel with experts from across the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence River held its first meeting, launching an 18-month process to develop recommendations for all governments to safeguard Canada’s greatest reserve of freshwater and the St. Lawrence River estuary.

The Expert Panel will be co-chaired by two former provincial environmental commissioners of Ontario and Quebec respectively, Mr. Gord Miller and M. Jean Cinq-Mars. The independent panel will be advised by Indigenous organisations, stakeholders representing a cross section of industrial, agricultural, maritime, municipal, recreational, fishery and environmental interests, and other academic and scientific experts.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is providing $400,000 to fund the initiative. The outcome of the process will be a Collaborative Strategy for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, proposing new and innovative approaches to protection efforts and better alignment of government science, programs and investments. The recommendations will be submitted to
the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and shared with provincial counterparts, indigenous and municipal leaders, and the broader community in the Region.

The Collaborative Strategy, which has been championed and organized by the Council of the Great Lakes Region, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Freshwater Future Canada, Strategies Saint Laurent and Great Lakes Fishery Commission, will focus on four key challenges:

1) Climate Change
2) Toxics and other harmful pollutants
3) Nutrients
4) Beaches and bacteriological contaminants

The Strategy will proceed in two phases, beginning first with the Great Lakes and then concluding with the St. Lawrence River.

For more information on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative, including a full list of Expert Panel members and Issue Table co-chairs, please go to: www.westbrookpa.com/glslcollab/

QUOTES

“Protecting our water, air and nature is a priority for our government. Millions of people depend on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence to sustain the economy, their livelihoods, their health and their wellbeing. This work is essential to protect the environment and grow the economy, and ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Great Lakes, though grand in scale, are sensitive inland aquatic ecosystems. We will work with all those who depend on the lakes to find ways to better care for them.”
Gord Miller, Expert Panel Co-chair

“The St. Lawrence is part of the heritage and fabric of Quebec society. By finding solutions to the most pressing threats to this vital artery we will be better prepared for the future.”
Jean Cinq-Mars, Expert Panel Co-chair

“We hope many voices around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions will join this effort to identify restoration challenges and needs, increase investment, and strengthen protection of the inland waters on which so many of us, and so many species, depend.”
Bob Lambe, Executive Secretary of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission

“The Great Lakes Regional Collaborative and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the United States has shown what can be achieved when all levels of government work alongside industry, academia and the nonprofit sector to advance common environmental goals in the Great Lakes by leveraging programs and investments. It’s time Canadian governments and stakeholders come together like never before to find new ways of tackling a range of complex issues, especially the impacts of unabated climate change.”
Mark Fisher, CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region

“The Mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative are pleased to be part of this Collaboration. We look forward to discussing new innovative approaches to protect these vital freshwater treasures, now and in the future.”
John Dickert, President and CEO, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

“This initiative presents a unique opportunity to mobilize diverse expertise to protect and restore the health of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. It holds great potential for new partnerships among governments, environmental organizations and business and industry, and for increased investments to address the increasingly complex challenges we are facing across the region.”
Tony Maas, Manager of Strategy, Freshwater Future Canada

“The Collaborative will allow us to establish priorities to address transboundary challenges, to propose new initiatives that build on existing measures, as well as to identify additional financial resources to support essential programs like the Areas of Prime Concern (ZIP) Program along the St. Lawrence.”
Jacques Durocher, President, Stratégies Saint-Laurent

Media contact:

Nicola Crawhall, GLSL Collaborative Strategy Secretariat
Tel: 416-407-5880
Email: nicola.crawhall@westbrookpa.com

17 Oct

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Council of the Great Lakes Region Launches New Program to help SMEs Scale, Innovate, and Export

October 17, 2018 | By |

Council of the Great Lakes Region Launches New Program to help SMEs Scale, Innovate, and Export

October 17, 2018

Toronto, Ontario – Today the Council of the Great Lakes Region, in collaboration with Ryerson University, launched a new program called Great Lakes Ready. Utilizing the Magnet Export Business Portal as the backbone of the program, Great Lakes Ready will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Great Lakes region navigate the trade ecosystem. Piloting first in Ontario, the platform will match businesses to the full range of funding opportunities, capacity-building programs, events, trade missions and other advisory services that are available to help them scale, innovate and export. The ultimate goal is to position Ontario SMEs to compete and win in today’s global marketplace.

Thanks to increased trade liberalization, globalization has been put into hyperdrive, accelerating the flow of goods, services and capital around the world. To illustrate, world trade in goods and services increased dramatically from less than $10 trillion in 2003 to more than $23.2 trillion in 2013. Similarly, flows in foreign direct investment, $1.7 trillion in 2015, are reaching unprecedented levels and are expected to climb even more significantly by 2020.

As trade boundaries expand, there are tremendous opportunities for SMEs to innovate and enter the export market. Yet, many SMEs still struggle with becoming export ready, as capacity constraints limit their ability to understand markets, customs, financing, shipping, or even the long list of support programs that are made available by government agencies and chambers of commerce to support their growth and global business plans. Great Lakes Ready will make it a lot easier for companies to overcome these challenges by bringing all of this information together in one location, both online and through in-person workshops. To learn more and sign-up, please visit https://councilgreatlakesregion.org/programs/ or cglr.magnet.today

Quotes

“Over 650,000 small and medium sized enterprises are located in Ontario and Quebec, or 56% of all SMEs in Canada, supporting roughly 6.4 million Canadian jobs. But only a small percentage of them are growing and exporting,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. “Great Lakes Ready will simplify their path to growth and the expanding export market by providing SME’s the right intelligence and advice at the right time in their development.”

“Ontario businesses are inundated with programs and services to support business growth, and yet, identifying the right opportunities for each business’ unique needs remains a barrier to make use of many of them” said Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet. “Partnering with the Council of the Great Lakes Region makes it easier for businesses in the region to connect and leverage the opportunities available, strengthening our joint efforts to help businesses grow and thrive.”

About the Magnet Export Business Portal

A first-of-its-kind in North America, Magnet harnesses intelligent matching technology, data and analytics to effectively connect people, businesses and organizations to opportunity. Magnet’s latest innovation is the Export Business Portal, a powerful platform designed to match relevant and timely export events and opportunities to Canadian businesses of all sizes, based on their export-readiness, sector, location and goals.

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the Magnet Export Business Portal harnesses resources and services from the Government of Ontario, Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, and Global Affairs Canada, and delivers them directly to the business using push notifications and a customized dashboard. This next generation technology will simplify pathways to navigating Ontario’s trade ecosystem.

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council is a binational non-profit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger, more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate through policy research and programs, connecting leaders from all levels of government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

For more information

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org / 613-668-2044

02 Oct

By

CGLR Statement on the New Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico

October 2, 2018 | By |

October 3, 2018

Toronto, Ontario and Cleveland, Ohio – Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), issued the following statement today after reviewing the agreement reached between the Parties:

“CGLR commends negotiators for finalizing a new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) that updates many elements of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The binational Great Lakes Region, shared by eight US states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is the economic engine of the North American economy, and is responsible for a significant amount of the goods, services, labor and investment flows that cross the US – Canada border every year.

The agreement reached provides certainty to the Region’s manufacturers, investors, shippers, innovators, and farmers at a time when the global economy is becoming more competitive and increasingly borderless. We are especially pleased with the new provisions that will govern digital trade, small and medium-sized enterprises, customs and trade facilitation, regulatory cooperation, counterfeit goods, copyright, patent protection, grain certifications, and telecommunications.

CGLR also recognizes the changes that will increase market access across the continent for food products made in the Great Lakes, especially dairy, poultry, and eggs. However, it is our belief that more can be done to fix oversupply in the region and low price contracts for hardworking family farmers in the US while helping Great Lakes farmers on both sides of the border take advantage of new export opportunities in North America and around the world so that they can stay in business.

We recognize the steps that have been taken to make the North American auto industry more fair, continental, and competitive by amending the rules of origin provisions. We will be monitoring the implementation of these changes closely to ensure there are no unintended consequences for the Great Lakes automotive sector and negative impacts on consumers.

We are disappointed that NAFTA’s professional categories in the chapter governing the Temporary Entry for Business Persons were untouched; although we recognize it is difficult to negotiate changes amidst the ongoing immigration reform debate in the US. The existing categories make it harder for the Great Lakes Region to attract global talent and utilize professionals and skilled laborers residing on one side of the border or the other in responding to short-term labor market gaps.

Finally, while the s. 232 tariffs applied against the steel and aluminum industries in Canada and Mexico were separate from the USMCA negotiations, we are concerned that they remain in place given the new rules requiring automakers and parts suppliers to source 70% of their steel and aluminum from North America (i.e. the Great Lakes). We understand the Parties have committed to discuss this issue in due course. We hope they will be removed immediately.

In conclusion, we recognize the complexities associated with modernizing a trade agreement when a strong economic partnership already exists between the member states. The USMCA agreement is a step in the right direction, and we hope the Parties will continue strengthening the North American economic platform and the competitiveness of regional economies like the Great Lakes through the Agreement’s various working groups. CGLR will be reviewing the terms of the agreement in greater detail with its members and we stand ready to assist future discussions anyway that it can.”

About the Council

The member-driven Council of the Great Lakes Region was launched in 2013 to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration between all levels of government, industry, academia, and the non-profit sector in the Great Lakes Region in finding new ways of harnessing the Region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations.

For more information

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
1-613-668-2044
mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org