WINNIPEG, August 5, 2010 – Canada is emerging from the economic downturn in a strong position. Provinces and territories, through the Council of the Federation, have coordinated their efforts to move Canada towards economic recovery. This spirit of cooperation remains important in moving Canada from recovery into prosperity. Premiers recognize that sustained economic recovery will require appropriate levels of short-term stimulus spending balanced with ongoing fiscal discipline.
Ongoing, stable and predictable federal transfers are necessary to sustain economic growth. Premiers support the federal government’s commitment to protect major transfers to other levels of government in support of health care, social services and equalization. Premiers encourage the federal government to work with the provinces and territories in renewing these arrangements which are due to expire in 2014. A commitment to long term, sustainable funding to housing is also a key element of supporting economic recovery.
Premiers will also continue to promote sustained economic recovery by fostering a culture of innovation, encouraging continued private sector investments, removing barriers to economic development, expanding trade, strengthening Canada’s labour market, and reducing poverty.
Education, Skills and Labour Market Development
Assuring Canada’s competitive position will depend on developing our workforce and providing the education and skills training required to make the jobs of today more productive, and to create the jobs of tomorrow.
Increasing Aboriginal participation in the labour force will contribute to Canada’s future success. To this end, Premiers agreed to continue to work with the federal government and Aboriginal communities to improve educational outcomes. Increased Aboriginal educational achievement and greater participation in advanced education are essential goals.
Improving the effectiveness of Canada’s immigration system is also key to meeting Canada’s labour market needs. In the coming years, immigration will be responsible for significant labour market growth across the country. To realize the potential of newcomers to Canada, Premiers underscored the need for governments to work together to enhance training and settlement programs that support the integration of immigrants.
Premiers agreed that provinces and territories need to have a greater role in decisions regarding immigration policy and planning, including the selection and settlement of immigrants. Premiers also expressed concerns over recent federal efforts to cap the successful Provincial Nominee Programs. Premiers strongly urged the federal government to reconsider this decision. Premiers also stressed that the federal government should plan immigration levels on a multi-year basis with greater provincial- territorial involvement.