COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Premier of Ontario visited Columbus Friday to tell investors his province is open for business before meeting with Gov. Mike DeWine.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s focus was on how Ontario and Ohio are benefiting from mutual trade and jobs, but questions of how his country’s leader has acted were inevitable.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is embroiled in controversy after pictures and a video of him dressing up in blackface and brownface have surfaced in the midst of his re-election campaign.
“It’s disappointing,” Ford said. “It was unacceptable back when he said it, it’s unacceptable now.”
Premier of Ontario is a position comparable to the governorship of a state in terms of duties.
“I don’t like big government outside of our team and my all-star minister,” Ford said. “I don’t like politicians, either.”
Ford was in Columbus to promote his province.
“I’m a strong believer in building relationships,” he said. “I’ve been in office a year and four months. I met 25 governors, continue working with another 25 governors because we’re so intertwined.”
While Ontario is an economic powerhouse in North America — it’s the third-largest trading partner to the United States as a whole — it’s Ohio’s number one customer, and that is keeping people employed both in Ohio and in Ontario.
“There’s 300,000 people that live in Ohio that rely on trade with Ontario alone,” Ford said.
Ford and DeWine see the relationship as the key to mutual success.
“We depend on each other,” DeWine said. “It’s really a synergistic relationship that we have with Ontario and it’s to our mutual benefit.”
Ford said he plans to continue to foster growth between Ontario and the Buckeye State and that this is just the first of many visits he has planned.