Ottawa

Quebec ready to welcome McGuinty

Quebec's Liberal government says it hopes last week's Liberal election victory in Ontario will further improve relations between the neighbouring provinces.

Quebec ready to welcome McGuinty

Quebec's Liberal government says it hopes last week's Liberal election victory in Ontario will further improve relations between the neighbouring provinces.

But Quebec's Intergovernmental Affairs Minister says it's hardly a partisan welcome.

"If it had been Mr. [Ernie] Eves, the happiness would have been the same," said Benoit Pelletier, adding that Liberal and Conservative labels mean little to Quebec.

Pelletier made the comments following the landslide Liberal win in last Thursday's Ontario election.

He said his government had a friend in former premier Eves, who signalled right after the Quebec election that he was serious about solving inter-provincial disputes that had built up under the Parti Québécois.

By the time the Ontario election was called, the two governments were close to a signing a deal to end the labour-mobility dispute, something Pelletier says can just as easily be signed with McGuinty's government.

What's also important, said Pelletier, is bonding experiences like the one last July when Quebec wanted to form a council of the federation to improve relations between the provinces. Eves signed on and helped convince recalcitrant provinces.

Pelletier said that friendship won't be forgotten, and will be built upon as Dalton McGuinty's government settles in at Queen's Park.

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