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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
July 20, 2018
Office of the Premier
Premier's statement following Council of the Federation meeting

SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. – On the final day of the Council of the Federation summit, Premier John Horgan has released the following statements on representing British Columbians’ concerns:

On trade with the United States:

“Economic growth, jobs and prosperity for British Columbians depend on strong and fair trade relationships. I spoke with Canada’s premiers about forming a united front to stand up against unfair and unfounded trade sanctions by the United States, and continuing to support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his actions to protect Canadian jobs. We discussed a new, focused strategy to support Canadian workers, by reaching out to Americans about the benefits of trade between our countries. As a part of this strategy, we will build on our strong relationships with state governors in a mission to Washington, D.C., during the winter meeting of the National Governors Association in February 2019.”

On suspension of Greyhound services:

“Greyhound’s surprise decision to suspend services west of Ontario will affect many people, especially those living in rural and remote communities. B.C.’s call for support from the federal government was met with a commitment to work on the problem together. Along with other provinces, B.C. will urge the federal government to work with Greyhound to extend the notice period, to make sure people have safe and reliable transportation options.”

On cannabis legalization:

“Our discussions on cannabis focused on protecting health and safety, while reducing the illicit market as legalization comes into effect later this year. The other premiers and I committed to support an effective transition towards cannabis legalization, and will continue to share information and work toward this goal. We will be urging the federal government for clarity around drug-impaired driving enforcement and screening, funding for education and awareness, and respecting provincial jurisdiction on regulatory decisions and sales.”

On internal trade:

“We need to make sure trade across provincial borders works for people and businesses, especially given the U.S. administration’s protectionist measures. The premiers agreed to take steps to move faster on reducing trade barriers within Canada. In addition to the ongoing work at the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, we will be holding a meeting of first ministers this fall, that will be focused on the economy and addressing productivity, competitiveness and improving trade.”

On health care:

“I reiterated B.C.’s support for a national pharmacare program. We need a plan that makes sure people can afford the prescription medicine they need, without further burdening the provinces with new health costs. The premiers agreed to push the federal government on a number of issues, including improving access to pharmacare by removing cost barriers for people, and ensuring federal pharmacare funding is long-term, adequate, secure, flexible, and takes into consideration present and future cost pressures.”

Jen Holmwood
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

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