Ottawa told to ‘exercise leadership’ to settle Port of Montreal strike

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The governments of Quebec and Ontario sent a letter to the federal government urging it to exercise its “leadership” in dealing with the week-old strike at the Port of Montreal.

Ottawa must make an effort “aimed at promoting dialogue between the parties with the goal that they come to a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible,” wrote Quebec Labour Minister Jean Boulet, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon and their Ontario counterparts, Monte McNaughton and Victor Fedeli.

In their letter, addressed to federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, the ministers say they are “concerned” by the effects of the strike on the economic supply chains of Quebec and Ontario and in eastern Canada.

Late Monday afternoon, Tassi said the federal government has been in contact with both parties and is “actively supporting” negotiations.

“We understand there has been encouraging progress made between the two parties in recent bargaining,” Tassi wrote in a statement. “This is very positive and needs to continue.”