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The Council Of The Federation

Archived Backgrounder

The Council Of The Federation

Office of the Premier

The Council of the Federation provides premiers with an opportunity to work collaboratively to strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship among the provinces and territories.

The council plans to establish a permanent secretariat and meet two or three times a year -- with the summer meeting as the main annual event.

The 2004 summer meeting marks the beginning of Premier McGuinty's one-year term as Chair of the Council of the Federation. In this role, Premier McGuinty will lead premiers in their collective dealings with the Prime Minister.

Origins and Objectives

The premiers first agreed to the concept of a council at the July 2003 Annual Premiers' Conference, and signed the founding agreement on December 5, 2003 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The objective of the council is to address issues of importance to Canadians by:

  • Strengthening interprovincial-territorial cooperation, forging closer ties among the members and contributing to the evolution of the Canadian federation
  • Exercising leadership on issues of importance to Canadians and improving federal-provincial-territorial relations and
  • Promoting relations between governments that are based on respect for the Constitution and recognition of the diversity within the federation.

The Council's Work Plan

The council's work plan -- agreed to by premiers -- includes a number of important initiatives such as promoting wellness, fostering literacy, streamlining environmental assessment processes and strengthening Canada-U.S. relations.

For more information, the council's website at www.councilofthefederation.ca provides documents and links related to its work.