WHITEHORSE, July 21, 2016 – Since the Council of the Federation was established in 2003, and for almost 50 years before that as the Annual Premiers Conference, Canada’s Premiers have engaged in intergovernmental cooperation for the collective benefit of all Canadians. The strength of our federation is reflected in the important role provinces and territories play in developing and implementing policies and practices that improve the prosperity and quality of life for Canadians. The Council of the Federation is a key forum for facilitating provincial- territorial collaboration and advancing relations with the federal government.
Holding their annual meeting in a territory for the first time, Canada’s Premiers reaffirmed the Council of the Federation’s founding principles of cooperation, leadership, respect for diversity, and transparency today in Whitehorse. Premiers are committed to engaging in constructive dialogue and believe that provinces and territories have much to gain by sustaining collaboration through the Council. They also believe that maintaining a clear channel of communication with the Prime Minister is essential for Canadians and for the prosperity of the Canadian federation. Premiers also reiterated the importance for the federal government to respect areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. They intend to continue to meet regularly with the Prime Minister to exercise collective leadership on issues of importance to Canadians and advance shared priorities in the months ahead.
Premiers recognize the importance of reconciliation and collaboration with Canada’s Indigenous peoples and will continue to build relationships with Indigenous organizations in their own provinces and territories, and to meet annually with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Métis National Council (MNC), Indigenous Peoples’ Assembly of Canada (IPAC), and Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).
Provinces and territories are encouraged by the participation of the federal government in the new Federal Provincial Territorial Indigenous Forum (FPTIF), which includes the federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as AFN, ITK, MNC, IPAC and NWAC. Premiers anticipate that this new forum will be a very important and central mechanism for collaboration, and look forward to its successes in supporting the well-being of Indigenous communities, in particular child welfare.
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Communications, Executive Council Office Government of Yukon