January 21, 2020

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Premiers to gather in Toronto next month for Council of the Federation meeting

TORONTO - Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he will host the next Council of the Federation meeting next month.

He says his fellow provincial and territorial leaders will come to Toronto on Dec. 2.

Earlier this month, Ford offered to host the meeting to bolster national unity in the wake of the Oct. 21 federal election.

He says people in parts of Western Canada feel alienated by the vote, which saw the Liberals re-elected to a minority government despite not winning a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan.

Some in Alberta have called for separation from Canada in a grassroots movement that's been dubbed "Wexit," although the notion has been dismissed by the province's premier, Jason Kenney.

Ford has said the idea of hosting a meeting came up during a conference call with nearly all of the premiers late last month.

"This is a critical time for us to come together to have these important discussions, listen to the concerns of people in every part of Canada, and ensure we stay united," Ford said in a statement Wednesday.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who chairs the Council of the Federation, tweeted that he looks forward to discussing "the challenges and opportunities facing our nation" at the Toronto meeting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

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