WHITEHORSE – The Council of Federation summer meeting concluded in Vancouver today, with Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski participating in discussions with Canada’s premiers.
“The Council of the Federation meeting provides an excellent opportunity for the provinces and territories to build relationships and collaborate on issues impacting all Canadians,” Pasloski said. “It was valuable to hear the views from all the premiers and to provide Yukon’s perspective.”
The conference agenda included discussions ranging from families, Canada in the global economy, health care sustainability and disaster mitigation assistance.
“While the agenda addressed common issues, each region has an opportunity to get support for their own initiatives,” Pasloski added. “For example, during the discussion on renewal of major federal transfer programs the premiers agreed on the importance of an extension of the Territorial Health System Sustainability Initiative, which expires March 31, 2012.”
Premiers agreed that maintaining ongoing, adequate and predictable federal transfers is critical in providing support for a wide range of essential services, including health, social services and post-secondary education.
A key outcome of the meeting saw the premiers committing to a four-point strategy on Canada in the global economy with an emphasis on increasing efforts in Asia.
During discussions on maintaining and expanding Canada’s physical infrastructure and gateway policy to accommodate the flow of people, services and goods, the premier highlighted the recent joining of Yukon’s northern and southern power grids, and stressed the importance of ports in B.C. and Alaska to access export markets.
Over a working lunch today premiers met with Christine Gregoire, Governor of Washington and Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the United States to discuss Canada-U.S. relations.
“I spoke to the unique and long-standing international relationship Yukon has with Alaska,” Pasloski said. “Yukon-Alaska regional development is of critical importance to our economic growth, as is our port access in Skagway.”
Building on discussions at the Western Premiers’ Conference in June, the provinces and territories identified innovations in health care within their own jurisdictions, and announced they would convene a special meeting to discuss an integrated approach to sustainable health.
“Innovation is a major driving force in economic growth and social development and the Government of Yukon is committed to providing support for activities and initiatives that promote an innovative and knowledge-driven economy,” Pasloski said.
Earlier in the week, premiers recognized recipients of the seventh annual Council of the Federation Award celebrating outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy. “I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Claire Derome for her ongoing dedication and commitment to family and workplace literacy in Yukon,” Pasloski added.
For more information about the Council of the Federation visit www.councilofthefederation.ca.