Down through the generations of Canadian history, there have been any number of examples of kindredness and common cause between political leaders in Ontario and Quebec.
Mackenzie-Papineau. Baldwin-Lafontaine. Macdonald-Cartier. Rebels, reformers, Fathers of Confederation, staples all in textbooks.
Dalton McGuinty and Jean Charest might never achieve that sort of joint immortality, never get battalions or freeways, or even a lecture series, named in their mutual honour.
But the premiers of Ontario and Quebec, each heading Liberal governments, each five years in office, each Red Tory in sensibility, yet united more by circumstance than easy personal affinity, seem eager to write their own chapter in inter-provincial collaboration.
There could hardly have been a more historic setting for the first ever joint meeting today of the two provincial cabinets. Last night, before a dinner at Quebec's Château Frontenac attended by 28 ministers from the two cabinets, McGuinty presented a plaque on behalf of Ontarians to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city.
It might be, as McGuinty had said in advance, that the joint meeting – whatever grievances the provinces might have with the federal government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper – wasn't about "sending a message to anybody." More...