The leaders of the country's Prairie provinces, which boast significant resource economies, expressed gratitude to their fellow first ministers.
Alberta seems to have gotten the rest of Canada's provinces on its side during Monday's premiers meeting in Mississauga, Ont.
"I think that the case for a provincial pension plan may stand on its own merits, but we're also looking for issues like this to demonstrate we have leverage in the federation". Friday, Kenney called a more generous fiscal-stabilization program an "equalization rebate", implying that they're related and changing one would be similar to adjusting the other.
The website for the program states its objective as being to help provinces hit with a "year-over-year decline in its non-resource revenues greater than 5 per cent".
As a result, energy-rich Alberta was eligible for only $250 million under the program in the 2015-16 fiscal year, even though its total revenues fell by $7 billion over the same period. He thanked his fellow premiers Monday for making fiscal stabilization amendments a priority.
"This (gathering) was a tremendous moment of solidarity", said Jason Kenney of Alberta.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who was chairing the meeting, acknowledged there has been justified skepticism in the past as to whether such a group could ever look beyond regional interests to see things in one single way or speak with one unified voice. Regarding the new funding, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister objected to the idea of a national pharmacare program in the short term.
"If you can't get that right, don't start with another program". I'm going to preclude what British Columbia is going to say (and) what Quebec is going to say.
The premiers also said that any proposed national pharmacare plan "must be developed in partnership with provinces and territories", and must have an opt-out for provinces.
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The premiers' communique describes the strategy session as "unprecedented". "So it's been around for some time but likely would take some time to alter or change", he said.
Numerous leaders have had their own meetings since the October vote resulted in a Liberal minority government that has no Prairie MPs, plus a resurgent Bloc Quebecois. Moe and Kenney, in particular, have clashed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over natural resource policies, namely the federal bills C-48 and C-69.
Discord has also erupted among the first ministers.
The premiers also avoided other divisive issues, such as carbon pricing and Quebec's controversial secularism law known as Bill 21.
"We're here to talk about common ground", Ford said.
Pallister's government recently announced it is rolling out ads in Quebec that welcome government workers to move to Manitoba if they feel threatened by the ban.
"I would say that today they had our backs", Moe said. SMRs are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than normal reactors, and that can be assembled more easily.
Numerous premiers have met one-on-one with Trudeau since the election, and the full council is expected to sit down with the prime minister next year.