Premiers Focused on Actions to Support Economic Growth and Opportunities

Premiers discussed the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including its potential adverse impact on Canada’s clean technology sectors. Premiers urged the federal government to continue its efforts to ensure the United States treats Canadian goods and services as equal and equivalent to those from the United States. They also called for close work with provinces and territories to define the terms and conditions of federal financial incentives to mitigate potential negative impacts, secure future opportunities, ensure businesses remain competitive, and avoid putting investments at risk, particularly related to emissions reduction and clean technologies.

Premiers recognize that strong, integrated supply chains are the best way to enhance competitiveness across North America. Provinces and territories remain concerned about trade-limiting actions in the United States. Premiers discussed ongoing concerns with unwarranted duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States, and the need to resolve this long-standing dispute, as well as concerns regarding the expansion of protectionist Buy America provisions in all forms.

Premiers also discussed the urgent need to boost productivity and competitiveness, and develop policies that support business investment to encourage economic growth across Canada.

Provinces and territories are investing in strategic infrastructure to power economic development, facilitate market access for goods and resources, maintain secure and efficient supply chains, connect Canadians to the digital economy, build strong communities, and support climate-resilience.

Premiers reiterated their call on the federal government to adhere to the following principles for the next phase of federal infrastructure funding to best serve people and communities across our diverse country:

  • maximize both flexibility and predictability by delivering funding on a base plus per capita basis to support provincial and territorial priorities and their ability to plan for the long term;
  • provide support to provincial and territorial governments in addressing the full spectrum of infrastructure challenges unique to their jurisdiction;
  • ensure enough flexibility in federal funding that flows through provinces and territories rather than municipalities so that provinces and territories are able to balance investment priorities between the restoration, repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure and future growth projects, including any new investments in housing;
  • work with provinces and territories to support development of trade corridors and strategic trade-enabling infrastructure;
  • immediately address the unacceptable gaps in the level of infrastructure available in Arctic and northern regions;
  • minimize administrative redundancies, duplicative processes related to governance, and red tape related to approvals, claims and reporting; and
  • support provincial and territorial efforts to address potential climate impacts.

The most effective way to achieve these goals is through block infrastructure transfers, which will allow provinces and territories to make efficient and strategic use of funding and create opportunities for long-term capital planning to build the infrastructure that Canada needs.

Premiers expressed concern about the federal government’s proposal to add further conditions, reporting and red tape to the renewed Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly the Gas Tax Fund). Premiers agree that the CCBF must be flexible, enable provinces and territories to fund their diverse priorities, and be free from burdensome approval and reporting requirements.

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