Canada’s Premiers, Indigenous Leaders Gather in Edmonton for Summer Meeting


Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will meet Monday with her fellow provincial leaders and Indigenous leaders in Edmonton, where the three-day Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers is being held.

“This is an opportunity for Canada’s premiers to advance the initiatives that matter most to our provinces, our people and the Canadian federation as a whole,” Notley said in a joint-statement with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne earlier this year.

Notley is the incoming chair of the Council of the Federation – a group comprised of all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers that meets once a year.

Five national indigenous groups were originally scheduled to attend the summit, however three of them said last week they are not attending.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed and Métis Nation President Clément Chartier are not attending, citing a “number of concerns about the structuring” of the meeting.

Regional Chief Isadore Day of the Ontario Assembly of First Nations said the meeting doesn’t meet what he referred to as the test of reconciliation. Day said meetings with political leaders have to be meaningful and that separate talks the day before the premiers meet aren’t sufficient.

British Columbia’s newly elected premier John Horgan will also be absent from the meeting because he and his cabinet are being sworn-in on Tuesday.

Notley said while a number of issues will be discussed by the country’s premiers at this week’s conference, trade with the U.S. will be a prominent topic.

“Our primary focus will be on our economic relationship with the United States and things that we can do collectively and individually as provinces to maintain those strong relationships and to continue to advocate for our important industries that are very trade-exposed,” she said last week.

Notley has made a point of promoting Alberta industries and trying to strengthen U.S. trade ties.

The Council of the Federation, or COF, was created in 2003 to promote provincial-territorial cooperation and closer ties among members.

More to come…

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