July 10, 2014 8:58 am

Western leaders meet to discuss trade, labour and Northern development

Cumberland Sound is seen from the hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut on August 20, 2009.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

IQALUIT, Nunavut – Officials from six western provinces and territories, including three premiers, meet today to discuss domestic trade, labour mobility and the plight of northern communities in the face of a Canadian oil boom.

Alberta Premier Dave Hancock, N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod and Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski are in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital city, at a western premier’s conference hosted by Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna.

Flooding kept away Manitoba’s Greg Selinger and Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, while B.C. Premier Christy Clark had a scheduling conflict. Other provincial officials came in their place.

Hancock, speaking at a hotel overlooking Frobisher Bay – still rife with ice floes well into July – said consulting with First Nations is critical as the Arctic and other remote areas of Canada become energy powerhouses.

He added that land must be developed in a sustainable way and First Nations must be involved in the discussions.

Hancok said housing in rural communities and aboriginal health and child care are also on today’s agenda.

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