MOOSE JAW, May 31, 2001 -- Western Premiers discussed the consensus that has evolved across Canada with regard to post-secondary education and training as an increasingly necessary pre-condition for a healthy economy and a vibrant society.
Premiers called on the federal government to reinvest in post-secondary education and skills training through existing transfer mechanisms to provinces and territories, the Canada Health and Social Transfer and the Labour Market Development Agreements. Increases to the Canada Health and Social Transfer and an appropriate escalator would help provinces and territories to better balance the growing demand for post-secondary education and skills training with the capacity of the systems to meet this demand. The Labour Market Development Agreements provide western provinces and territories with funding for training programs that Canadians need to participate in the economy.
Premiers agreed that addressing the education and training needs of Aboriginal people is particularly critical in light of the rapid growth in the Aboriginal population and workforce. Premiers called on the federal government to meet its responsibilities to improve Aboriginal labour market participation.
Note: Mr. Gordon Campbell, Premier-elect of British Columbia, attended the 2001 Western Premiers' Conference. However, in his current role as Premier-elect, Mr. Campbell was unable to give the official endorsement of the Province of British Columbia to the positions and commitments outlined in this Communiqué.