Premiers' meeting wraps up in Halifax
Published Friday, July 27, 2012 4:52PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 7:50PM ADT
Canada’s premiers wrapped up their annual meeting in Halifax on Friday.
A number of issues were addressed over the past three days ranging from the economy and expansion of trade to federal funding transfers.
“This was an opportunity for Canada’s premiers to come together around a number of very important issues,” says host and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter.
But one issue they’re not coming together on is the national energy strategy.
“B.C. will not be participating in any of those discussions until after we’ve seen some progress that our requirements of shipment of heavy oil will be, will be met,” says British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.
B.C.’s premier says she can’t sign on until the dispute with Alberta over the Northern Gateway pipeline is resolved. Alberta Premier Alison Redford suggests this is why a strategy is needed.
“We’ve made some very good progress today,” says Redford. “There’s always going to be issues that we need to resolve within the Confederation and we’ll do that, as well.”
The premiers are standing together on the issue of federal health transfers and the impact of the proposed changes by Ottawa. They say they’re looking at a loss of almost $36-billion dollars over the next ten years.
Dexter says if equalization was included, that figure would be even higher.
“The facts are pretty simple if you were to look at your paycheques,” Dexter tells CTV News. “Two-thirds of the tax that you pay in your paycheque goes to the federal government and yet the provinces deliver 80% of the services. That clearly is an imbalance.”
“Canadians should have the ability to have a comparable level of service wherever they live in the country,” adds Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.
Selinger will chair a meeting along with New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Redford this fall to continue discussions.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster