First Ministers’ Meeting

NEWS RELEASE – Communiqué of Canada’s First Ministers

Vancouver,  British Columbia – March 3, 2016 – Canada's First Ministers today issued a  joint communiqué following the First Ministers' Meeting and released a  declaration on clean growth and climate change:

"In the  spirit of cooperation and collaboration, we met today to discuss the economy  and actions to address climate change and agreed on immediate work to support  growth and create new jobs.

"Building  on commitments and actions already taken by provinces and territories and the  momentum from COP21 in Paris, we are moving toward a pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change that will  meet or exceed Canada's international emissions targets, and will transition  our country to a stronger, more resilient, low-carbon economy – while  also improving our quality of life.

"We know  that a fair transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is necessary for  our collective prosperity, competitiveness, health, and security. Taking smart  and effective action today is essential for future generations. These decisions  will put Canada  at the forefront of the global clean growth economy, and will create  opportunities to diversify our economies, open up access to new markets, reduce  emissions, and generate good paying, long-term jobs for Canadians.

"To achieve our goals, we will build on the leadership  shown and actions taken by the provinces and territories, as exemplified by the  2015 Quebec Declaration.

"For its part, the Government of Canada committed to  the following:

  • support climate change mitigation and adaptation through investments in  green infrastructure, public transit infrastructure and energy efficient social  infrastructure;
  • work together with the provinces and territories on how best to lever  federal investments in the Low Carbon Economy Fund to realize incremental  emission reductions;
  • advance the electrification of vehicle transportation, in collaboration  with provinces and territories;
  • foster dialogue and the development of regional plans for clean  electricity transmission to reduce emissions;
  • advance efforts to eliminate the dependence on diesel in Indigenous,  remote, and Northern communities – and use renewable, clean energy as a  replacement; and
  • as  part of Canada's  participation in Mission Innovation, double investments in clean energy,  research and development over five years, and work with global partners to  promote cleaner energy and better environmental outcomes.

"We will identify measures that governments can take  to grow their economies and reduce emissions in the long term.

"To this end, we directed immediate work in four  areas: clean  technology, innovation, and jobs; carbon pricing mechanisms adapted to each  province's and territory's specific circumstances and in particular the  realities of Canada's Indigenous peoples and Arctic and sub-Arctic regions;  specific mitigation opportunities; and, adaptation and climate resilience. Four  working groups will be established to report on these priorities. Their reports  including options will be submitted to the ministerial tables charged with  overseeing their work and will be made public. Ministers will review those  reports and provide their recommendations to First Ministers by October 2016.  Those recommendations and the reports of the working groups will be used to  develop the pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change, a  concrete plan that will also allow us to meet our international  commitments.  

"In  addition, federal, provincial and territorial energy ministers will collaborate  on work underway on energy efficiency and clean energy technology and  innovation through the Council of the Federation's Canadian Energy Strategy, in  order to contribute to the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.

"We took  stock of the economy and discussed real challenges facing Canadians as well as  longer-term opportunities. We have a shared objective to promote jobs and  growth, address urgent economic needs, and support long-term growth in  transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

"We  recognize that making strategic investments in our economy to spur economic  growth in the short term will benefit our economy and protect the environment.  That is why the federal government committed to fast-track existing infrastructure  allocations in all provinces and territories, in addition to making significant  new investments in infrastructure.

"We recognize  the critical importance of fostering innovation, attracting investment, encouraging  trade, and developing the skills of our workforce to create good jobs and grow  the economy. We have directed ministers to work together to advance these  shared priorities.

"We also agreed to pursue necessary reforms to the Agreement on  Internal Trade to benefit Canadians, as well as help Canadian businesses to  grow their exports and be more competitive on the world stage.

"We agreed  on the importance and urgency of moving Canada's resources to market in  responsible, timely, predictable and sustainable ways that Canadians trust, based  on robust science-based environmental assessments conducted within existing  jurisdictional frameworks and that contribute to long-term economic growth and  job creation.

"In the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change, we have outlined the vision and principles that will guide our  governments as we move towards sustainable and clean economic growth. Federal, provincial, and  territorial governments will work together to make this vision a reality. We  will work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples across the country to ensure  a more sustainable and prosperous future for Canada.  We also recognize that businesses, civil  society, and individual Canadians should be mobilized to achieve these goals.

"Building  on our progress today, we are confident that we will tackle the short-term  economic challenges and set the country on a path towards long-term clean  growth, emissions reductions, and a more prosperous, green, and healthy future  for all Canadians."

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PMO  Media Relations: 613-957-5555

Loretta O'Connor
Council of the Federation Secretariat