‘An important meeting:’ Saskatchewan premier hopes leaders can find consensus

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, centre, along with fellow Premiers break away following a group photo during a meeting of Canada's Premiers in Saskatoon, Sask. Thursday, July 11, 2019. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says an upcoming sit down of Canada's premiers will be an important chance to send a message to a prime minister that's dealing with regional divisions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says an upcoming sit-down of Canada’s premiers is an important chance to send a message to a prime minister dealing with regional divisions.

Moe is the chairman at the meeting Monday in Mississauga, Ont.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered earlier this year to hold the meeting to address what he called Western Canada’s alienation following the federal election.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals secured a minority government, but won no seats in Saskatchewan and Alberta, while the Bloc Quebecois surged in Quebec.

Moe says he’s hoping the premiers find consensus on a few key issues — amendments to the fiscal stabilization fund and the need for provincial autonomy when it comes to environmental policy.

He also wants them to address concerns about federal legislation that overhauled environmental assessments for major projects including pipelines.

“This particular meeting, I would say, is an important meeting,” Moe said Thursday.

“A number of premiers … had reached out and inquired if we could bring the premiers together to provide such guidance to the federal government in light of the … very divisive, election results we saw on election night — not just in Saskatchewan or Alberta, but also in other areas of the nation.”

Moe said Trudeau indicated to him during a recent meeting that he’s willing to respect areas where provincial and territorial leaders have reached consensus.

The premiers met in Saskatoon in July and discussed issues ranging from interprovincial trade to climate policy. That meeting ended with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney saying national unity was under threat.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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