January 30, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – Winter Meeting of Canada’s Premiers
Canada’s Premiers are focused on actions to maintain the strength of the Canadian economy in the current international economic situation. Premiers shared perspectives on commodity prices, the fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar, and how these changes will impact their respective fiscal plans.
Provinces and territories continue to adapt to a changing global economic environment. Although the fiscal and economic ground has shifted since Premiers last met, most of Canada’s long-term challenges and opportunities remain unchanged. Priorities continue to be increased infrastructure investments and addressing the wide-ranging needs of an aging population.
United in their efforts to drive economic growth, Premiers committed to continue investing in strategically important public infrastructure and called for a stronger commitment from the federal government and greater federal funding.
Provinces and territories are facing changing social and economic realities associated with an aging population. Premiers called on the federal government to provide funding in support of provincial and territorial services that enhance the well-being of Canada’s seniors, while meeting the unique requirements of each province and territory.
Premiers remain committed to creating opportunities for Canadians through the following actions:
- Making strategic investments in public infrastructure.
- Ongoing collaboration on seniors’ care and aging.
- Establishing a mobility protocol for apprentices while they complete their certification.
- Ongoing collaboration on pharmaceuticals that is saving millions of dollars. Premiers are encouraged by the accelerated work to lower drug costs – current annual savings are estimated to be $315 million.
- Reducing barriers to trade and business within Canada.
- Continuing to expand our international trade, including in markets such as Asia.
- Finding solutions to address challenges facing Aboriginal communities.
Provinces and territories are working together to address key issues for Canadians. It is important that the federal government step forward to do its part as a partner in the federation. Recent changes in the fiscal outlook have not changed the fact that, in the medium and long-term, the federal government is in a stronger structural fiscal position than provinces and territories.
Premiers discussed the priorities that need to be addressed to strengthen Canada’s economic union, including fiscal arrangements, health care, jobs and skills, infrastructure, disaster financial assistance and Aboriginal issues (see attached media backgrounder). Noting that this is a federal election year, Premiers called on federal leaders to outline how they intend to support the work of provinces and territories in addressing these priorities.
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Government of Prince Edward Island
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