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Trudeau to meet provincial, territorial leaders mid-March amid rising tensions

Click to play video: 'Trudeau ‘open to engaging constructively’ with hereditary chiefs over rail blockades' Trudeau ‘open to engaging constructively’ with hereditary chiefs over rail blockades
WATCH: Trudeau ‘open to engaging constructively’ with hereditary chiefs over rail blockades – Feb 26, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will sit down with provincial and territorial leaders on March 13 to wrestle with some of the thorny issues that are dividing the nation.

The first ministers’ meeting, to be held in Ottawa, is to cover climate change, the economy, health care, infrastructure and equalization.

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Announcement of the meeting comes as Trudeau is struggling to reconcile the competing demands of environmental concerns, resource development and Indigenous reconciliation.

It comes on the heels of Teck Resources’ decision to back out of a new oilsands project in Alberta, citing uncertainty over climate policy.

Click to play video: 'MPs shout ‘shame’ and call Trudeau ‘liar’ during exchange with Scheer over rail blockades' MPs shout ‘shame’ and call Trudeau ‘liar’ during exchange with Scheer over rail blockades
MPs shout ‘shame’ and call Trudeau ‘liar’ during exchange with Scheer over rail blockades – Feb 26, 2020

And as protests continue to disrupt train service across the country in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are fighting a natural gas pipeline across their territory in northern British Columbia.

Those events have heightened tensions between the federal Liberal government and conservative premiers Jason Kenney and Scott Moe in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada’s oil and gas producing heartland.

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READ MORE: Trudeau urges for ‘peaceful’ end to blockades after Tyendinaga Mohawk rail line arrests

And they’ve sparked concern that Canada’s economy could be headed into a tailspin.

Kenney and Moe maintain federal environmental policies are destroying their provinces’ economies and are demanding a fairer deal in Confederation.

Click to play video: 'Teck Resources Frontier mine project abandonment signals need for government to work together on job growth, climate action: Minister Wilkinson' Teck Resources Frontier mine project abandonment signals need for government to work together on job growth, climate action: Minister Wilkinson
Teck Resources Frontier mine project abandonment signals need for government to work together on job growth, climate action: Minister Wilkinson – Feb 25, 2020

Among other things, they have demanded an overhaul of the equalization program under which the federal government transfers money to have-not provinces to allow them to provide comparable services at comparable tax rates as richer provinces.

This will be the sixth first ministers’ meeting Trudeau has hosted since becoming prime minister in 2015.

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