Greater Federal-provincial collaboration is called for to replace competition and conflict between Ottawa and the provinces, and a claimed growth of growing "unilateral federalism." More financial resources for the provinces to play a more effective role in national building are urged, for the benefit of all Canadians. Speech as co-host of the Public Policy Forum 16th annual testimonial dinner, Toronto, April 10, 2003.
I gather it is a tradition to ask a premier to co-host this dinner. My colleagues, past and present, have each brought their own unique perspective to current events and public policy issues. It is a perspective born more out of place -- or province -- than politics.
As premiers, we are chosen by the voters of our province to represent the people of our province.
Yet, despite the coast to coast to coast geographic span and the complete spectrum of political parties we represent, we have also come to represent a remarkable consensus of opinion on many challenges facing our country.
This is notable. In fact, these consensus view are all the more important precisely because it crosses the boundaries of party, province, and region. Together we have achieved consensus on improving Canada's health care system, equalization and fiscal transfers, skills and training, trade and open borders, innovation and infrastructure.
When I travel throughout New Brunswick, I tell people in every part of our province that New Brunswick will be strong when every region of New Brunswick is strong.
The same is …