March 11, 2020 – In light of recent events, including the outbreak of COVID-19 and an unparalleled combination of demand and supply shocks, including shocks to export markets and the global oil supply, Premiers highlight the need for a coordinated response to these challenges and call on the federal government to provide support for those impacted. In December, Canada’s Premiers came together in unprecedented fashion to address the critical issues facing the country. They committed to working together and with the Prime Minister on a number of shared priorities:
- Economic Competitiveness: including the ratification of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement; working to eliminate protectionist measures that negatively impact our industries; seeking new international trade opportunities; streamlining environmental assessment processes; developing and getting resources to market; and being responsive to immigration and labour market needs.
- Fiscal Stabilization Program: improving the program to make it more responsive to fiscal downturns without compromising increases in other federal transfers, including implementing the recommendations proposed in December by provincial and territorial Finance Ministers.
- Healthcare: re-establishing a full funding partnership with the federal government by increasing the Canada Health Transfer by 5.2% annually; and any national pharmacare initiative must be developed in full partnership with provinces and territories.
- Infrastructure: enhancing program flexibility, respecting provincial and territorial priorities, lessening burdensome reporting requirements, reducing approval timelines, and providing additional, long-term funding to enable projects to move forward expeditiously and with greater certainty.
- Northern Priorities: including investments in community, transportation, broadband and energy infrastructure and climate action to benefit the lives of northerners and unlock economic potential that will benefit all of Canada.
Over the past weeks, Premiers have also come together to discuss pressing emerging issues affecting Canadians including COVID-19 as well as rail blockades.
Building on the consensus achieved at the Council of the Federation meeting in December, Premiers look forward to constructive and meaningful discussions with the Prime Minister about these urgent priorities.
The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers. It enables Premiers to work collaboratively, form closer ties, foster constructive relationships among governments, and show leadership on important issues that matter to Canadians.
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