Premiers support national disaster mitigation funding program

Premiers also discussed the impact flooding has had on the agricultural sector and the rural economy. Flooding has significantly affected seeding in agricultural land in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. Cattle producers may also have to reduce their herds because of pasture damage and inadequate forage. Premiers directed their Ministers of Agriculture to work together and with their federal counterpart to prepare specific proposals for joint support programs to address these urgent concerns.

Investment Canada Act Review

Premiers discussed the importance of ensuring the continued inflow of foreign direct investment to Canada and the jobs and economic growth these investments create. Premiers noted that many of Canada’s unique and strategically valuable assets fall within their jurisdiction. As part of their development, Canadian and foreign investments have helped to responsibly build these industries for the benefit of our citizens and our economies, consistent with Canadian rules and values.

Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to proceed with a review of the Investment Canada Act. They noted the importance of transparent, timely and stable rules to evaluate responsible foreign investments in Canada. Premiers agreed on the priority of ensuring that commitments made by foreign investors through the review process are effectively enforced. They also agreed on the importance of public dialogue on proposed foreign investments. Provincial and territorial participation in determining what constitutes a net benefit to Canada is essential. Premiers look forward to working with the federal government to review the Act and in particular provide input on how to define what constitutes a strategic asset.

Citizens’ Engagement

Premiers welcome the interest of citizens in helping to address problems that affect their lives and note that the increased use of social media is creating new and innovative ways for citizens, especially youth, to engage with political leaders and candidates. Premiers recognize that if processes for engaging citizens are to be meaningful they must be transparent, inclusive and conducted in a manner which provides the opportunity to work through conflicting values and ideas together. Effective engagement is vital in meeting the challenges faced by all jurisdictions and results in decisions that better reflect public values and leads to innovative and collaborative solutions.

One of the best ways to shape the way decisions are made is to engage in the democratic process. Premiers urge Canadians to fully utilize these opportunities, including by voting in federal, provincial, territorial and local elections.

Water Information Sharing Initiative

Last year, Premiers committed as part of the Water Charter to cooperate and share information on water conservation and water quality. Consistent with that commitment, Premiers are pleased to announce that the Council of Federation Water Stewardship Council is embarking on an online initiative to enhance the cooperation and sharing of information on water at the national level. Building on the momentum of the technology age and more open government, Canada’s Water InfoStream is an online listing of major provincial, territorial and federal government water resources. The online catalogue will act as a communications tool to help spread the word to researchers, policy makers, and the public at large about water data and information relevant to their interests and needs, both locally and nationally. The catalogue can be found at www.councilofthefederation.ca/infostream.html.

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For more information:

Nina Chiarelli
Government of British Columbia
250-387-0793
Cell: 250-216-8426
nina.chiarelli@gov.bc.ca