The conference carries the theme of “Connecting Across Borders" and is being held at Le Château Frontenac, a historic castle-like luxury hotel that towers over the city.
During the six-day trip, Walker also plans to meet with Canadian companies that are considering expanding to the United States and some that already have facilities in Wisconsin to discuss a possible expansion. He will also lead a briefing session with business executives in Montreal. Members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which is footing the bill for the trip, will also attend.
Why Canada? Well, the northern country is key to the state's economy; in 2014, Wisconsin companies exported nearly $8 billion in goods, mostly machinery, vehicles, paper products and plastics. Plus, the trip will add another stamp to Walker's passport and a chance to learn a little more about dealing with other countries ahead of his likely run of president. One of his weaknesses is that he does not have as much foreign policy experience as some of the senators who are running -- or Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state.
This is Walker's third foreign trip on behalf of his state this year. Walker traveled to Britain for four days in February and spent nine days in Europe in April, making stops in Germany, France and Spain. Until this year, Walker had undertaken only one foreign trade mission, traveling to China and Japan in 2013. Walker also visited Israel in May, but that trip was paid for by his political organization and the Republican Jewish Coalition.
For the Canadian trip, journalists were not encouraged to come along, even though parts of the conference Walker is attending are open to the press.
"It will primarily be private meetings with business leaders as part of our continued focus on encouraging international companies to invest in Wisconsin," Walker's spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, said in an e-mail last week. "This really is a business trip, not a photo op."