Western and Northern premiers met this week to discuss joint issues. (Joe Savikataaq/Twitter)

Western and Northern premiers met this week to discuss joint issues. (Joe Savikataaq/Twitter)

Premiers meet at Northern Premiers’ Forum and Western Premiers’ Conference

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq virtually hosted both meetings this year

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver met with other leaders this week during the Northern Premiers’ Forum and Western Premiers’ Conference.

Silver met virtually with the premiers of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories on June 14.

On June 15, the northern leaders met with the premiers of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“I am sad I couldn’t work with my colleagues in beautiful Nunavut and I hope that someday soon you’ll all be able to come and see our beautiful territory,” said Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, who hosted both conferences this year.

“Premiers had lots of discussions around our jurisdictions, both pandemic health and economic recovery. Notably, we discussed the many challenges in our healthcare system as we find our way out of the third wave,” he said.

The focus among the western provinces and territories was the reopening after COVID-19 and a shared desire to increase the Canada Health Transfer.

Reconciliation and the need to investigate losses of life and culture at residential school sites across the country were also discussed.

During a press conference following the meetings, Silver called on religious communities who operated the churches to also step forward.

“Don’t wait until your jurisdiction becomes a crime scene, we need to share information as much as we possibly can ahead of time,” he said.

The Northern Premiers’ Forum included discussions around northern reopening, healthcare funding, infrastructure and housing, post-secondary education and climate change.

The three territories also signed a “renewed northern cooperation accord,” a five-year agreement to “work together on matters of mutual concern, and speak with a common voice on shared priorities.”

The Yukon will host the next Northern Premiers’ Forum in 2022.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com