Premier Wade MacLauchlan recently attended the Council of the Federation meetings to represent and advance Prince Edward Island’s interests in strategic areas such as healthcare and energy in regional and national discussions.The Council of the Federation, which comprises Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers, met in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador July 15-17 to discuss and advance key areas of collaboration.
“Working cooperatively with all provinces and territories will help grow our economy, deliver sustainable healthcare programs, and provide a stronger voice for our province in national programs and policies,” said the Premier. “The Council of the Federation meeting, as well as the recent Council of Atlantic Premiers meeting and a meeting of the Maritime premiers, offered positive opportunities for Prince Edward Island to advance its interests on a regional and national level.”
Following regional meetings among the premiers, Prince Edward Island committed to joining New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in a joint secretariat of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.
Canada’s premiers released a Canadian Energy Strategy and committed to working together on priorities such as the distribution of electricity across jurisdictions. Prince Edward Island is in a unique position to contribute to an energy strategy given its position as a leader in the generation of renewable energy. Identifying additional ways to collaborate in the distribution of electricity and how the energy sector can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation will be part of the discussions at the upcoming New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ annual conference taking place in St. John’s, August 30-31.
Healthcare remains a top priority for Islanders and all Canadians. Prince Edward Island continues to express concern over changes to the Canada Health Transfer and the impact that this has had, especially on smaller jurisdictions with aging populations. The province has called on the federal government to discuss partnership opportunities to fund innovative and transformative healthcare.
Prior to the Council of the Federation meetings, the premiers met in Happy Valley-Goose Bay with national Aboriginal leaders and committed to action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Report as well as joint initiatives regarding missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, and coordinated and socio-economic action planning.
“The Government of Prince Edward Island embraces a spirit of reconciliation and progress, and will continue to work in partnership with First Nation communities following the release of the executive summary from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said the Premier.
This meeting of the Council of the Federation marked the end of Prince Edward Island’s term as chair with Newfoundland acting as host province. After serving as the inaugural co-chair of the Premiers’ Health Care Innovation Working Group for the past three years, Prince Edward Island will commence a term as co-chair of the Economic Innovation Working Group.
“There was a high degree of collaboration around the table with substantial initiatives being taken,” said the Premier.