The Great Lakes need a new maritime strategy — and fast

The Great Lakes need a new maritime strategy — and fast

Untapped economic potential and environmental concerns are the driving forces behind a new maritime strategy for the Great Lakes, the first of its kind.

“In order to remain competitive in today’s global markets, we need to improve and expand the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said when she announced the strategy along with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on June 15.

The Great Lakes regional economy was worth US$5.8 trillion in 2015 and would be the third largest economy in the world if it were a country, according to a recent BMO report. “The economic importance of the region can’t be overstated,” it says.

But not enough is being done to promote maritime transport in the region, says the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, the organization that produced the maritime strategy. The conference brings together the leaders from Ontario, Quebec, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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