Gov. Snyder and colleagues from the newly formed Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers join together to further improve collaboration and strengthen connections across the Great Lakes region.
(Seated left to right: Quebec Premier Coulliard, Gov. Rick Snyder, Ontario Premier Wynne, Standing left to right: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp, Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor
QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC — As part of efforts to strengthen connections within our region, Gov. Rick Snyder, the organization’s chair, today is participating in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers 2015 Leadership Summit in historic Québec City.
During the annual summit, leaders are laying out bold actions around the summit’s theme – “Connecting Across Borders” – aiming to strengthen connections within the region, and to better connect the region with the world. 
To further improve coordination, the leaders today launched a new collaboration known as the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. This conference will bring together the chief executives of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec and Wisconsin as 10 equal partners, united in their commitment to protect the Great Lakes and sustainably grow the region’s economy.   
“Over the last two years, our region has made tremendous progress to grow the economy, protect the environment, and connect across borders,” said Snyder, who serves as the council’s chairman.  “Today, we’re expanding this effort by creating a new level of commitment by all 10 states and provinces to strengthen North America’s heartland.  The governors and premiers can speak with one voice to promote the interests of the entire region.”
Governor Snyder and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard are hosting the June 12-14 summit and are joined by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  Senior representatives of Indiana Governor Mike Pence; Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf are participating on their behalf during the summit’s events.
“This summit is an opportunity to put together our different initiatives, including Québec’s Maritime Strategy, to improve our maritime transportation system, shape regional tourism, and maximize the economic and social potential of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence system. Sustainable development and responsible economic growth have always been core values of our region’s work and will continue to guide our future actions, united under the authority of the new Conference,” said Premier Couillard.
Specific actions aimed at growing the region’s $5 trillion economy while protecting the world’s greatest freshwater system during the summit include:
  • Creating the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers through which the eight States, Ontario and Québec will collaborate to ensure the region’s continuing prosperity;
  • Pledging to develop a strategy to double maritime trade, shrink the environmental impact of the region’s transportation network, and support the region’s industrial core;
  • Further protecting the region from aquatic invasive species by fully operationalizing a regional mutual aid agreement, and launching an innovative pilot program between Michigan, Ohio and Ontario to harmonize invasive species regulations;
  • Combating nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms through a landmark multi-party agreement;
  • Creating a new initiative to foster regional economic clusters based on analysis by Harvard Business School;
  • Announcing multi-sector missions to promote exports to China, Europe, South America, and Central Asia.
This work builds upon the 2013 Leadership Summit on Mackinac Island and the Executive Meeting in Chicago in July of last year.
More information on the Governors’ and Premiers’ collaboration and the 2015 Leadership Summit can be found at