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 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.
The Progressive Conservative leader said his top priority is protecting jobs for Ontario workers and reiterated that he would stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Trudeau on the issue.
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.