Skip to main content

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne leaves this week for a 10-day trade mission to India, saying now is the time for Canada to foster more relationships with the burgeoning country.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne leaves this week for a 10-day trade mission to India, saying now is the time for Canada to foster more relationships with the burgeoning country.

In addition to Ms. Wynne's trip – which includes nine Liberal MPPs, 50 business leaders, 19 representatives of post-secondary institutions and three municipal leaders – she said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to travel there, as is Toronto Mayor John Tory.

"While we're about to take a big step forward in India and start a new chapter in our partnership, it's the evolution of a long-standing friendship that goes back generations," she said at a recent pre-mission luncheon. "This can really be the year of Canada and India."

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Wynne's trip coincidentally comes on the heels of another Canadian delegation to India – the Opposition Progressive Conservatives. Patrick Brown, who is friends with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had visited the country 15 times before becoming Tory leader last year, returned there earlier this month along with several Tory MPPs.

"Relationships matter. Relationships open doors," Mr. Brown said via telephone Thursday as he was about to head for home. In addition to Modi, Mr. Brown met with several chief ministers and industrial leaders there.

Mr. Brown said he applauds Ms. Wynne for leading a mission to India to tap into a market where there is much interest in Ontario.

When asked if Mr. Brown's trip stole some of her thunder, Ms. Wynne said she will be taking business leaders with her to generate "real business" in Ontario.

"Patrick Brown has travelled as a private citizen to India, I'm going as the premier of Ontario," she said. "Patrick Brown can do what he chooses on his winter vacation."

Mr. Brown said he would not respond to "personal attacks."

Ms. Wynne and her delegation will travel from Jan. 27 to Feb. 6 to New Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Mumbai and will focus on infrastructure, clean technology, clean water and the life sciences sector. Ontario has pledged to spend $134-billion over 10 years on infrastructure, while India plans to invest more than $1-trillion (U.S.) in infrastructure over the next 20 years.

Story continues below advertisement

John Farrow, chair of the civil engineering consulting firm LEA Group Holdings, is one of the business delegates travelling with Wynne and is looking to build on the 25 years of business his company has already been doing with India.

"India is a country that is building a lot of infrastructure," he said. "I think that the common element and one of the elements that links Ontario with India is they both have experience with rapid urban growth...Engineering has got a fairly low cultural content so if you can design a bridge in one language you can design it in another, which makes it a very international business."

Wynne said her trade mission to China last year resulted in $2.5 billion worth of agreements and she is hoping to build on that momentum.

"This is a newer relationship in terms of solid business connections than for example China, so it will be on a different scale, but I absolutely think that you will see there will be real business, real jobs, real exchange, real trade that will develop because of this trade mission."

The delegates on Ms. Wynne's trip will be paying their own way and a spokeswoman for the premier said the government members' expenses will be posted once final.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter