Premier Ford participates in fireside chat, Canadian American Business Council, Washington, D.C
So happy to have you and we. Are sitting here hang, on. We're. Sitting here in, the office, of the, Canadian American Business Council and Canadian. Business Council is housed within, this very cool company called you Group and the CEO is right there Lina and. Lina's. Also on the board of C ABC so thank you for having us thank you to your team, that's. Great and, so. I'm gonna go super fast because, I, have, all day I have my. Whole life but you're on a schedule, so. The last time, c, ABC hosted, you in washington was. About a year ago and. You. Were interviewed, on our stage, by. My, good friend US. Ambassador, kelly craft and say she's, the best you've been downgraded you, get me. She. Has she asked me to give you a present so, these are red, white and blue M&Ms courtesy, of ambassador craft we're, waiting for her to get the UN M&Ms but anyway she's I, don't know if you talked to her today but I talked to her and she sends her best oh thank, you that's great, so. Um. Maybe. I could just start with we're. Happy to have you what, brings you to town I mean I know it's us but what else along. With the National, Governors. So. What works I did didn't I always like. To tell, the people in the United States that, we're, the number one trading partner, with. A lot of states 19 states were the number one customer. Trading, partner were number two to nine other states we do over three hundred billion dollars, a year in two-way. Trade and if, we were a standalone, country, it would be the third largest trading partner, to the United States I always. Say we're an economic, powerhouse and I have my great Minister Minister, Vic fiddly he's in charge of economic development I always tell him he's, our best salesperson out there and job numbers came out today. And I'm so, proud and to say, that it was just over a little over a year we've created 300,000. New private sector jobs and. Scotties. Veteran graduations, thank you, economics. Is very simple, you cut, red tape you, cut regulations here. Or business. Taxes, and lower taxes, with people and new revenues, will come up to to the coffers as we say in and with, that you can reinvest it into other areas in the health care and education but. Our, economy right now is absolutely. On fire and, and I, understand, it's going, pretty, pretty good down here as well so it's, exciting and I love building. Things together with, our partners best. Partner in the world is the United States. Couldn't, agree more some one little, known fact that I learned from you last time you're here that a lot of people here don't know so, so when we think in the United States about about. States and we think about big we. Think about Texas, and. You. Know don't mess with Texas Texas is big in every way you know but. To, Texas's. Could fit in Ontario is that right something like that that's correct yeah so. So. No offense to the governor of Texas but. Actually. Heading. Down there on Sunday, night stir. Up more business and yeah look forward to going into Dallas and meeting, with a few. Stakeholders, there so. The. Bush library is down there if you have any time we've. Hosted events, with, at, the bush library and, if you haven't if you haven't done I mean not to add your I know, you're you're busy doing business but if you can get over there it's really good have you been there I've. Been to the Texas numerous I, get they, give, some of the folks background. I've spent almost 20 years and, in their facility, in Chicago and, Illinois and and grew. That company, and spent. 20 years traveling around the u.s., there's. No bigger. Promoter to, the u.s. in Canada then. Then Doug Ford is I absolutely, love, the people here I love the country and we're. So blessed and so fortunate to. Have the greatest neighbor in the entire world the largest, unprotected. Border in the world. Great. Great allies and we'll we'll, do things together and build, things together we yeah I mean I think both countries are best are blessed in our neighbors and in our lack of neighbors.
It. Helps it helps to have oceans you have three we, have two. So. When. You're talking to governor's I know I know you had a meeting with Governor. Hogan your. Partner in crime are, you talking about things, like infrastructure, is that is that part of it like what what specifically, besides, I'm. Just promoting, trade relations, are you trying to advance with the governor's well we're really. Big in public-private partnerships. And in Ontario. Ninety-five. Percent of all the projects, that we do is on. Time on budget, and, we're really encouraging. People. Down here to get involved and as. We say P threes, make. Sure that these projects, are again on time on on budget. And just promoting, a great relationship I, always believe on I always say I'm a businessman, first, I'm a elected official second, and I, take that business approach, to the government, and it's. All about building a relationship and. Doing, bilateral. Trade. Deals state, to, province, and, that, that's that's, very very, important, and looking. At the new NAFTA. Trade deal have. Sent a message to our federal government that. Put it together in, the opposition, this. Isn't the time for politics, I get, this deal signed nine. Million, jobs here in the US, rely, on export. To. The Canada. I. Think, that's conservative I think that's a conservative number yeah, one. In five jobs and, Canada. Rely on exports. Down to the the, US so it's a great partnership we, can build on it we. Have all, the natural resources, you could ever want, great, manufacturing. Base for, instance the automotive industry is big in Ontario, we we, produce over two million cars just slightly. Behind, Michigan. But, people. Don't realize the parts can travel back and forth between the border eight times before. It gets assembled in one of our automotive, manufacturing. Facilities, we have all five of the big five up. In Ontario and it's, just making sure that we take, down the barriers, and rid of the roadblocks. That have, been in the way until both. Ontario. In our case and whatever, state we partner with can. Thrive and prosper and grow with. The burden of the the government, sticking their nose into it so, we're, free traders to for sure so we totally. Agree so my first. Question on that is. Mexico. Has ratified, the, new NAFTA. The United States has ratified it which is a feat when you think about getting, a bipartisan, deal done. In. This climate so the United States has so it's, up in Canada. You, got an over/under. On when they'll pass it will they pass it I mean we're. We're sitting here tapping our foot now what do you think well we you, know as far as Ontario, is concerned we have, the pedal to the metal we're. Really pushing all, parties, up in Ottawa to make sure this gets signed, it's absolutely, critical again. Scotty as I was saying earlier a. Lot, of people want to play politics this is not the time to play politics on. This deal it's time to get the signed and, move forward, totally. Agree hope it happens soon and then and then all the side letters have to get done so that it becomes operational so that's the next sort of bureaucratic you. Know lever, a. Little. Slightly. Different. Take on this the premier, if I could ask you what about the barriers, in between provinces, in Canada like it's one thing to trade north-south that's, super important but how do you feel about it's a little bit difficult in certain areas is it, not for I mean I know it is for our companies sometimes when they're trying to go, between provinces. That's. A great question we have a big problem up in candy into provincial, trade it, can bring. Probably, 75 billion right, to the GDP, but. It's easier to trade with the United States than. It is from province, to province which, is which, is absolutely, that. We're, breaking down the barriers and what, it consists of is just regulations, as. Simple, as bringing. This. Is a staggering, bringing more, than a case of beer if. You bring two cases of beer from one. Province to to, the other four, additional. Bottles, of wine, you, aren't allowed to do that so. We're breaking down those barriers that. Includes, trucking. If you, leave, Ontario, and you start heading west we're, breaking down the barriers on the on the wheel size that this is how ridiculous, these things are you, have to put different wheel size. First-aid. Kits that everyone has everywhere have. Different provisions in them that you got to have a six inch bandage, instead, of a you, know a four inches it's just a lot of regulations, and nonsense, but we're we're, making a lot, of headway, with the other, premiers.
I'm. Glad I'm glad to hear that because that's definitely something our members notice, and, deal with trying, to comply, with. Different, barriers between. States, but also in particular in Canada so another side of that coin are. Our workers and I know you've you've worked really hard on building. Up the skilled workforce in Ontario, what about the barriers, to mobility of labour like like if if a particular province. Has. Extra, workers but they're not certified, like do you think I mean Canada we did that was we're, happy with the u.s. MCA but one of the things that really didn't, get done that's still on our to-do list from from. Canada you asked his labour mobility but what about in Canada how are you looking at that well that's, also a challenge, making. Sure that, electricians. That, are certified in Alberta are, able, to work, in, Ontario. But again it all goes down under the regulations, and we're. Short two, hundred, and fifty thousand, people so there's two hundred and fifty thousand jobs sitting. There on top of the three hundred thousand that we created waiting. For people and that's skilled, in an, unskilled, and at, a conversation, with the federal, government of the prime minister and we're. Allowed to have slightly. Over six thousand, economic, immigrants. Come in skilled. Trades but, we're at a point right now that. Will. Take skilled. And unskilled. And, if you're unskilled we're gonna we're going to train and you, know you hear, large. Companies investing, in. Ontario, like like for instance Amazon, their. Advertising. On right on the radio to, get people had, an opportunity to go by there I think it's their fourth one million square foot distribution center. There, and it's, it's, no different down here have a lot of friends and business contacts, down here they're, facing the same, problem, finding. People to. Fill the jobs that are available down here yeah totally, so here's, one right out of left field okay I know you can handle it so.
We're - and then you know like Washington's a very serious policy town and all of that but but you. Know sometimes you just gotta ask real-life, questions so thinking, about all the other provinces in Canada I know Ontario's, your favorite obviously, but, if you could live, somewhere else and can't if you had to live outside of Ontario but, it has to be in Canada what's. Your favorite province, Wow. Or, where would you live outside. Of Ontario I'll, tell you my favorite state is Illinois Chicago, yeah, yeah, of course I just. Feel at, home there, my. Guess Alberta, would be great any of the provinces, are really great the people in the East Coast are friendly west coast but I, think. Any, province, any province, alright okay well I tried. This. Hardest question so let me what, we're still in left field let's stay here for a minute let's talk about politics for a second okay here you go and. You. Guys we didn't have time back you know he just got here so I'm just bringing this I know you can handle it though that's all right well see if he ever comes back okay. Here. We go so. In. The. United. States in case people hadn't noticed and and, you're here at the governor's conference the. United States has a tradition, of often. Electing. Governors, to. They, go on to be President so think about President Reagan, President Bush President Clinton all governors, and. So half the people you meet with this, weekend, you. Know either think they're going to be President or somebody might be present in Canada. Has, there ever been I don't think there's been a, premier. That's gone on to. Be so, so, I know there's a conservative, leadership race so my question is are you going to will you declare, today. Yeah. No actually Scotty I appreciate, that and. But. We have a big, job to. Make. Sure that we fulfill our promises, we've only been in office a year and a half but we've really turned the corner, especially. On the economy, and job creation so, we. Have a big job to fulfill over the next two. And a half years and where it works I did about doing that but I wish all the the. People running for the conservative, leadership all the best and and that. We're gonna focus on Ontario, Ontario was, the engine of Canada, and what, is good for Ontario, was good for candid and what's good for Canada is good for Ontario, okay. That fair enough we've. Created, 76%. Of all new jobs in the. Country a right, here in Ontario how, and where what sectors, are they coming from like is that high-tech I know you've got Waterloo, and and you've got the, autos but what's the what's the most promising, sector for you well I think all of them right now right across a high-tech, they. They say we're the Silicon Valley of the north no matter if it's we, called kW, Kitchener, Waterloo, it's, jobs being created up, there but also in Toronto and in Ottawa has a massive. High-tech, sector the, automotive, industry is huge agriculture. Mining. And banking, we're number two in banking, link next to New York, Garrick cement from TD is here thank God you said banking. He's. The chairman of my board if you didn't serve banking, it, was gonna be a quick meeting you know some TVs in an incredible. Company today. So big there in Canada now that's what I hear. Actually. I hear there's more branches, in the US and, there. Is, yeah. So, so. Right across the board, you're. Growing every is, there any sector, that you wish would, would. Grow more is there anything that's kind of like like. Needs a little boost or isn't-isn't where you'd like to see it we're coming. Along pretty good and. Thanks, to the the great leadership of, Minister. Fidel II we were able to reduce taxes, of close, to five point two billion dollars. Putting. Money back into two. Companies. And being. Able to you. Know lower we have WSIB. Workman's. Comp basically, reduced. That by two point two billion almost forty seven percent that's like a tax. Break we've also lowered taxes, by eight point seven five percent to four hundred and twenty thousand, small. Businesses until. They can prosper, and thrive and, and I'm, you, know even in our business a relatively, small business, but. When. You when you Lord and when you lower taxes, and get, rid of regulations on, businesses. They're gonna reinvest, it they're gonna reinvest, it into their people into, the capital, equipment into, technology, and, again. Give them the opportunity, to grow, and hire. More people we, we have definitely, noticed that so connect and Business Council has large companies, like, General. Mills and small startups, like Sky hive and and it. Is true that that the regulatory burden. Regulatory. Certainty is a big is, a big barrier we're about to have a roundtable with.
You With some of our members and a company, called into it which. Has turbo tax and the QuickBooks and all that there there are new member and there are partner in this, particular, roundtable and what I learned from Rodney is. That. All. Like, most of their customers. Are. Two-person, shops like, maybe, three person shops and just. Having the tools you need to navigate the, regulations. That exist. Sometimes. You need, a little extra help so into its one of the companies there's lots of great ways to do that but, do. You really think it's possible, to. Get. Regulations, down even further like so we had a roundtable with you in Queen's Park and our. Members, were shocked. Because half, your cabinet was there you were there several, people in this room were there and you said please give us examples, of, you. Know barriers, because we don't you know we don't know unless you tell us if we're not so. Have, people been doing that like if businesses been coming to you and, saying fix, this like is that does, that happen, oh wait, we call, the SWAT team that goes, in there and looks for regulations, but no one knows their business better. Than the people that are in those industries beat the automotive pharmaceutical. High-tech. And and I always say regulations. When you cut regulations are, even better than a tax cut but we're doing both we're, cutting regulations, to. A tune of over, 400 million dollars that. We're putting back into the, companies, and we're, just going to continue running, the province, like a like a business, and that, will give an opportunity to. Reinvest. That that money into areas, that matter. To people and again that's health care education the, economy so. One, of the things that's. Awesome, to hear by the way I know what that my magical, word is and you just said let's hear a little while ago is people. Want certainty this is once certainty, they, want to make sure there's a plan there that they can invest not certainty just for a year certainty, for the next ten years and, we have a great plan moving. Forward that's really. Really good to hear and you're right that is a that is a music. Two years, of business certainty and regulatory, reduction, all that so, so. I was asking like how you hear about the, the, problems. People have and it reminds. Me when. You were here last February, last nga, when we hosted you people. In Ontario know, this but in DC you, shocked. People because. You literally, gave, out your phone number and that. Was a way and just for people who don't know this that was a way that people actually got in touch with you you responded. And then somebody. Was telling me like that it got abused and so you know somebody like decides. That they're gonna have an activism, campaign or whatever it is so so you can't do that anymore which is too bad so how, do you it's, a shame so, how do you how. Do you get out of the bubble like how do you how do you because, that had to be a way to keep it real if you could get a text I'm sure your staff loved it like, you. Know the, boss got another text but how do you do it now like how do you keep it real people, know if they call my office and, their, need of help will, make sure I return their call or get back to them but I'll tell you a quick little story right, around Christmas driving, down the street and I told. My detail. Scaredy, and they said pull over and. There's a big Walmart there and he says you're, not going into Walmart a Christmas. I said oh yeah I am he says I'll go buy you whatever you need I said, I'm not going in there to buy some I'm going in there to talk to the people and I. Made it about 10 feet through the door and people are coming up and and sharing. Ideas and and, number-one. Comments just keep going when. When you had a. Kind. Of a more of a left-wing, regime 15. Years before us that that. We. Inherited, the largest sub, sovereign, debt in the world of. 346 billion, dollars, we're. Paying right now a million. And a half dollars, an hour, 36. Million dollars a day and 13 billion a year in. Servicing, the debt that they racked up. The. Government before us you. Know I always say. Socialism. Doesn't work raising. Taxes, does not work, show. Me anywhere, in the world that it works it doesn't lowering. Taxes, with, people, and with businesses, that's, how we thrive in. Our. Province and, right across the United. States could you do me a favor and talk to Bernie Sanders about, whatever socialism, works that's. Actually scary yeah, are. You I mean how much how much, attention I mean I know Canadians, in general you, know tune. In but but how much are. You watching, what's unfolding here, and how, much you, know how important is it or how unimportant, is it do you think well I love, listening to the President on the State of the Union address. The, other night and, as. I was saying earlier I, don't think people realize how many Canadians.
Are Engaged, there's. An old saying in Canada. When when, the US sneezes, Canada catches a cold, that's how intertwined, we are as. Two, countries but. It. Was I, was, disappointed. When. I saw, Nancy. Pelosi get up there and start tearing the speech up that's uncalled, for I think it's it's, a shame it's. A real, made-for-tv. Moment though yeah like you didn't think I thought it's sort of shrewd. I don't know no you didn't like it I I didn't like you know put. That aside and move. Forward, I've never seen that in any State of the Union speech, ever, but. You. Know let's move forward let's if you see what happens in the election but, right, now again. The economy, is booming here is booming. In Ontario, and we. Hope the, elections gonna turn out the right way literally. The right way okay. Well, you know um we, only have a couple minutes left and so I'll say another old saying and then you and then you can say whatever you want obviously. But. There's another old saying about Canada the United States and, and so when, we think about the u.s. MCA the, new North American agreement, we, think about not just can the United States as important as we are but we also think about Mexico, an incredibly, important, economic. Powerhouse, in its own right and now, we're doing more together which is really good but, you, know that old elephant the mouse you know the US and Canada are. An. Elephant Mouse in bed together you know what the Mexicans say to that. The Mexicans, say yeah well at least you're on top. In. The remaining, minutes that we have I know you've got an incredibly, busy schedule, and I'm really, grateful for, you joining us here and. And. Joining us and for the for the livestream audience. What. Should, I have asked you that I didn't ask you or what would you like to talk. To us about I know Ontario, is open for business and. We're business council so we love that but but what else what else, should. We talk about in our last couple minutes well I'd love, to invite everyone up to Toronto. Where we're hosting the governor's on, an investment. Trade. Tour and we're looking, forward all. Businesses, and governors to come up on April 21st, of the 23rd. We're gonna treat you like royalty when, you come up and and we, just look, forward to continuing, on a rewarding, business relationship. And, again. Two, closest, allies in the entire world, building. Things together and, that's, what I look forward to continuing. On with an incredible, relationship and, again. I want to thank our American, friends. For. Being great. Allies but also. The, business, that they've brought to Ontario, well, I, thank, you very much for that and and and we wish you every success we. We. Work with whatever political, leaders the voters, give. Us. Some. Political, leaders are easier, to work with than others and some. Are more interested, in business than others and, but. But we work with everybody but I have to tell you the message of, certainty. And regulation. And open. For business is is something that really resonates, in, a non-political, way with the business sector and just, to prove that Ian, Todd is doing his job, you've mentioned, that. You're hosting governor's in Toronto. April 21 to 23 and you mentioned it to me back in our office and on our whiteboard here at you group I have my whole year. Planned out and right there it was already written so I just, want you to know that your team down here is, is, is is awesome and they've already they've, already gotten it on our whiteboard so Scotty, thank you very much and God. Bless American, god bless Canada two, great countries thank. You so much.