Health care, energy costs expected to be focus of premiers meeting in Halifax

Health care, energy costs expected to be focus of premiers meeting in Halifax
Nova Scotia Prermier Tim Houston speaks to media during the closing news conference at the Council of the Federation Canadian premiers meeting in Winnipeg, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. Houston says health care is the main formal agenda item as he hosts Canada’s 13 premiers and territorial leaders at a meeting in Halifax.

Most of Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders have begun a meeting in Halifax that is expected to focus on health care and the effect of carbon pricing measures on the rising cost of living.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault could not attend the meeting, but is being represented by his minister responsible for Canadian relations, Jean-Francois Roberge.

The premiers of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are also absent.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says health care is the main agenda item, and he says he hopes the talks will produce new ideas.

Houston says discussions may also venture into carbon pricing and Alberta’s plan to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan.

The focus on the cost of fuel comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last month a three-year pause on carbon pricing for home fuel oil for the 10 jurisdictions where federal fuel charges apply.

British Columbia Premier David Eby says the pause on carbon pricing is unfair to jurisdictions like his province, which collects its own fuel tax and is not eligible for the relief.

Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he is calling for the end of carbon pricing across Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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