WHITEHORSE—The Western Premiers’ Conference successfully concluded in Yellowknife today, following discussions among territorial and western premiers.
“I was pleased to have this opportunity to meet with my provincial and territorial colleagues for the first time and to work collectively with them on issues important to our jurisdictions and to Canadians,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said.
The conference agenda included discussions ranging from the economy, safe communities and health care sustainability, the environment, and Canada-U.S. and international relations.
“At the meeting I was able to bring Yukon examples and interests to the table,” Pasloski said. “For example, I noted the good work Yukon has done in the area of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and premiers agreed this is an example of one way we can work proactively to help improve the health of our communities and families,” Pasloski said.
A key outcome of the meeting saw premiers commit to the wellness of all Canadians by supporting government-wide measures to help ensure the long-term sustainability of health care systems.
During the open skies discussion on niche markets, the premier highlighted the success of the flights between Yukon and Germany. “I also talked about the importance of the port of Skagway to Yukon’s industry and the need to attract a larger number of immigrants, through the federal Skilled Worker Program, to smaller urban and rural centres,” Pasloski added.
The other provinces and territories continue to voice their concerns regarding the need to streamline federal / provincial / territorial environmental assessment approval processes. This issue is not a concern to Yukon as it has one environmental assessment process in place. The Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Act applies to lands administered by Yukon and federal governments and First Nations settlement lands is often used as an example of an efficient and timely process.
“It was particularly enjoyable to participate in National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Fort Simpson and to meet with leaders and youth in the community,” Pasloski said.
Premiers from all Canadian jurisdictions will meet next month at the Council of the Federation meeting in Vancouver July 20 to 22.
For more information about the outcomes of the conference visit www.wpc2011.ca.
Communications, Executive Council Office