Canada’s Premiers Discuss Affordability and Global Challenges

Provinces and territories are actively working to deliver a more sustainable future for their residents. Premiers call on the federal government to act in partnership to support and fund the implementation of provincial and territorial climate action priorities. In order to achieve tangible results, the federal government must uphold commitments to provinces and territories, engage meaningfully with them and respect their jurisdiction when developing strategies on emissions reductions and adaptation. Canada’s future economic stability depends on both energy security and sustained climate action.

Energy Security

Rising fuel prices, home heating costs and utility bills have dramatic impacts on Canadian households. Inflation in Canada is at a 39-year high largely due to high energy prices caused in part by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gasoline prices are up 48 percent year-over-year, and food prices are up almost 9 percent due to supply chain disruptions, as well as higher transportation and input costs such as fertilizers and fuel. High energy prices benefit Canada as an energy producer, but create serious affordability issues for consumers and businesses.

As many countries seek to reduce their dependence on Russian energy, the world faces widespread shortages and price spikes. As one of the world’s largest and most responsible energy producers, Canada has an important role to play in providing environmentally responsible, reliable and affordable energy products to Canadians and the world.

Provinces and territories are exploring further opportunities to supply the world with the energy it needs to improve reliability and affordability, while we move toward a lower-carbon economy. We must maintain and expand critical export infrastructure to the U.S., which continues to be Canada’s number one market, including securing the future of Line 5, expanding hydro exports, and meeting global energy needs while respecting the will and jurisdiction of provinces and territories, to support our allies as they are actively making the transition away from Russian energy.

In building a secure and affordable energy future, provinces and territories are working to support investments across a range of current and future energy sources, technology and processes to bring about a lower-carbon, cleaner growth economy, including critical minerals, hydrogen, hydro, wind, solar, carbon capture and storage, and small modular reactors. This can be facilitated by increased support from the federal government to ensure appropriate streamlined regulatory processes and adequate funding.

Mental Health and Addictions

Mental health and addictions challenges are complex issues with profound impacts on Canadians, and the pandemic has exacerbated these challenges. Almost everyone has been affected, or knows someone who has. This is an emerging area of public health that highlights the need to increase the Canada Health Transfer.

Increasing toxicity of drug supply is a critical issue across the country. Premiers talked about best practices in their jurisdictions to reduce stigma and improve outcomes for patients. While all governments are making investments and exploring solutions, each and every one of us plays an important role in promoting mental health. Premiers will continue to combat the addictions crisis, build integrated systems of care and increase and improve access to culturally appropriate mental health and addictions supports.

– MORE –