By Reid Goodison & Matt Hodder
John Tory is in Chicago for three days as part of the third annual Chicago Forum on Global Cities. The Toronto Mayor is expected to promote the benefits of the trade relationship between Toronto and Chicago and to talk about how the two municipalities can work together to fight the proposed Great Lakes funding cuts.
Tory left for Chicago Tuesday afternoon in what is his first trip as mayor to Toronto’s sister city.
Faced with the Trump administration’s plan to cut off funds for the Great Lakes Restorative Initiative, the mayor of Toronto plans to meet with the Windy City’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, today to discuss their options.
Tory told CP24 on Tuesday that he is “going down to meet with Mayor Emanuel and talk about how we can work together as the two biggest cities living on the Great Lakes to protect that water and make sure that money is still there.”
The Great Lakes Restorative Initiative provided funding for cleanup of polluted areas and combating invasive species.
Tory will be participating in the panel discussion “Open Cities, Closed Borders: A Response to Globalization” tonight, where he and 15 other mayors will have a roundtable discussion about how to finance a global city.
Emanuel will give Tory a tour of Chicago’s Millennium Park, which serves as a model for Tory’s proposed Rail Deck Park.
Toronto Region Board of Trade President and CEO Jan De Silva and Toronto Global Chair Mark Cohon will accompany Tory at the forum.
“We rely on each other to a huge extent for a lot of trade back and forth and when we see NAFTA under attack I think we need to go down and remind our friends in the United States how reliant we have become on each other in a very positive way,” Tory told CP24.
“It is a good partnership, it is creating a lot of jobs and it is working well. Let’s not mess with it.”
The host of the forum, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, was formed in 1922 to discuss foreign affairs and policy as the U.S. stepped onto the international stage following the end of World War I. In recent years, the Council has shifted its focus toward issues in globalization.
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