Liberals call on Prime Minister to hold annual meetings with Canada’s Premiers

OTTAWA – The Liberal Party of Canada used a rare Opposition Day motion in Parliament today to call on the Prime Minister to hold annual First Ministers’ meetings in order to create shared solutions that benefit all Canadians.

“Canadians want to see leaders in all orders of government work co-operatively, yet this Prime Minister has shirked that obligation in favour of pitting the Premiers and our regions against one another,” said Liberal Party of Canada Leader, Justin Trudeau. “The challenges we face as a country require a true partnership between the federal government and the provinces and territories, which can only be achieved by sitting down together and engaging in an open and continuous dialogue.”

Mr. Harper has not held a First Ministers’ meeting since 2009, the longest gap between such meetings in nearly a century. Despite the fact that provincial and territorial leaders are currently attending Council of the Federation meetings in Ottawa, just steps from Parliament Hill, the Prime Minister will not be meeting with them. In contrast, Mr. Trudeau will sit down with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne today, and has met with seven other Premiers from across Canada since becoming Liberal Party of Canada Leader in April 2013.

“In Quebec City last year, I announced that a future Liberal government would hold annual First Ministers’ meetings, and today we reaffirm this important commitment,” said Mr. Trudeau. “In the face of declining oil prices, job losses, and economic uncertainty, now more than ever, Canadians need a Prime Minister who will meet with the Premiers, and forge a smart economic plan for all Canadians, in every sector, and in every region.”