Premiers to meet at Calgary Stampede in advance of Council of the Federation

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will host the premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories at the Calgary Stampede.

A news release from the province says the premiers will meet over dinner on Sunday, and will be officially welcomed at a traditional white hat ceremony during the premier's annual Stampede pancake breakfast on Monday.

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It says formal meetings will follow, where Kenney says the leaders will discuss how they "can be closer partners in prosperity," noting they share common goals such building pipelines and free trade within Canada.

After the meeting, they'll have a chance to watch the Stampede rodeo before travelling to Saskatoon for this week's Council of the Federation meeting, which runs Tuesday through Thursday.

The western premiers met late last month in Edmonton, where British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Kenney agreed to continue to disagree on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that would carry Alberta oil to the West Coast.

A parade of politicians, which included federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer on Saturday, make a pilgrimage to Calgary every year during the city's famous 10-day celebration of cowboy culture.

"It's an honour to welcome some of my fellow premiers to the Calgary Stampede to discuss how we can be closer partners in prosperity. We share a commitment to defending taxpayers, getting our natural resources to global markets by building pipelines and economic corridors, and to free trade within Canada," Kenney said in the news release.

The release said the Calgary meeting will build on discussions from the Western Premiers' Conference, as well as meetings Kenney has had with counterparts across the country over the past two months.

All of the premiers who will be in Calgary are conservatives, with the exception of Robert McLeod of the Northwest Territories, which has a consensus government.

At last month's Edmonton meeting, the premiers found common ground on issues such as economic corridors, which Kenney said includes everything from electricity grids to natural gas lines, highways, railways and pipelines.

However, at the meeting's conclusion Kenney said Alberta is prepared to use provincial legislation to limit oil and gas exports to any province standing in the way of pipelines, while Horgan said his government will push ahead with a legal challenge of that law.

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