Premiers continued to explore
opportunities to strengthen economic growth in Canada and support good paying
jobs for Canadians.
Canada – China Free
Premiers noted the importance of expanding trade as a key factor
in growing Canada’s economy and emphasized the need to promote Canada’s trade
opportunities in growing international markets such as China.
Premiers welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to explore a
potential free trade agreement with China. Provinces and territories are
working to expand trade links with China and other growing economies in Asia.
Canada’s Premiers have led trade missions to China in 2008, 2011 and 2014 and
will continue to work to strengthen trade and cultural ties between Canada and
Building on recent successful international trade negotiations,
Premiers call on the Prime Minister to ensure that once negotiations commence,
provinces and territories are active participants in negotiating the new trade
arrangements with China.
Premiers discussed environmental assessment, in light of recent
federal Expert Panel reports. Canada’s world-class environmental
protection laws and review processes must continue to balance the need for
responsible resource development and a sustainable environment.
Premiers called on the federal government to work with provinces
and territories to ensure that environmental review processes respect the
principle of one-project,
one-assessment, do not add unnecessary duplication or delays in the
responsible development of Canada’s natural resources, continue to have access
to the best available expertise, including through the National Energy Board,
and that any changes respect provincial and territorial jurisdiction, and
existing co-management regimes. Changes to the federal process must
ensure regulatory certainty and timely decisions while providing transparency
and meaningful participation.
Premiers discussed the ongoing implementation of the Canadian
Energy Strategy (CES), released in July 2015. The CES is a flexible framework
for provinces and territories to realize a common vision for Canada’s energy
future. It supports sustainable energy development while also ensuring a
globally competitive energy sector. At last summer’s meeting, Premiers directed
Ministers to continue collaborative work across the four priority areas
including energy efficiency, delivering energy to people, climate change and
the transition to a lower carbon economy, and technology and innovation.
Work to date under CES includes collaboration
on innovative solutions to reduce diesel use in remote communities, and
joint work to support greater adoption of innovative technologies such as zero
emission vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage. Through CES
provinces and territories have also made significant progress in
harmonization of energy efficiency standards and
influencing of federal product efficiency standards
and building codes. The CES has also advanced opportunities to
enhance regional electricity interties and other energy transmission
and transportation infrastructure. These achievements are in
addition to ongoing work regionally and within individual provinces and
territories supporting the goals and vision of CES.
Premiers discussed the need for more coordinated planning,
funding and innovation in order to adapt communities, regions, industry and
governments to long term changes in weather, temperature and environmental
conditions. Premiers are encouraged by adaptation commitments made by the
federal government in Budget 2017. However, given the urgency of ensuring climate
change impacts are considered, particularly in infrastructure investments, they
call on the federal government to clarify how this funding will directly
support provincial and territorial adaptation plans and actions.
Premiers also called for improvements to Disaster Financial
Assistance Arrangements, including reinstatement of funding thresholds that
existed before 2015, and reduced red tape to allow for faster reimbursement of
upfront provincial and territorial disaster-related costs. Premiers further
emphasize the need for strategic federal investment in resilient
infrastructure, including support for "building back better" to
mitigate future disasters.
Premiers call on the federal government to be a stronger partner
in supporting pre-emptive strategic infrastructure. The federal government
should accelerate previous commitments to adaptation and accommodation of
northern communities that are especially vulnerable.
Canada can lead on new innovative technologies which can support
adaptation measures such as reducing the reliance of northern communities on
Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to new
infrastructure funding. This funding will support Canada’s economic
growth. Premiers noted the significant level of provincial and
territorial planned investment in infrastructure. Federal funding should be in
addition to total PT investments in infrastructure over the lifespan of the
Based on their assessment of the results of the Phase I
negotiations, Premiers emphasized that under Phase II:
- Federal funding including
through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank must allow provinces and
territories to fund planned priorities and commitments;
- Federal investments should be
flexible enough to support a range of
projects, from small to large;
- Federal funding should not
result in additional fiscal pressure on provinces and territories, and
municipalities, including cost-matching;
- Federal funding should be
flexible and contribute towards advancing critical planning, environmental
assessment, and design phases of infrastructure projects;
- Funds should be flowed directly
to provinces and territories, and respect their existing relationships
- Agreement administration and
reporting requirements should be streamlined, reasonable and appropriately
resourced. Those requirements should recognize provinces and territories’
existing reporting mechanisms.
- Agreements should be global
(not project by project) and provide sufficient flexibility to re-profile
funding between programs to align with investment priorities and respond
to areas of greatest infrastructure need.
Canada’s economic prosperity, competitive advantage and social
cohesion rely on a skilled, innovative, adaptable and flexible workforce, and
inclusive labour markets that maximize the participation of all Canadians.
Premiers acknowledge the federal government’s Budget 2017
commitment to provide additional funding for labour market transfer
agreements. Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to a new
generation of permanent, more flexible, and streamlined labour market
agreements. The agreements should not adversely affect current dollar
allocations to any province or territory. New allocations should be based on
need. Premiers hope to quickly conclude agreements with the federal government.
In recognition of diverse labour markets and provincial and
territorial responsibility for skills training and labour market programming,
provinces and territories will continue to work collaboratively with the
federal government to foster and grow a highly-skilled workforce, support adult
and lifelong learning and identify meaningful ways to improve labour market
outcomes for all Canadians, including traditionally underrepresented groups.
Premiers reiterated their strong desire to work collaboratively
with the federal government towards shared objectives. All provinces and
territories should continue to have access to federal funds even as
jurisdictions work to resolve disputes that may arise from time to time. In a
federation, federal, provincial and territorial governments must respect the
policy choices and priorities of other governments within their respective
areas of competence.
Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, did not attend the 2017 Summer Meeting of