Manitoba to no longer chair Council of the Federation, premier meeting
As Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party continues the process of choosing a new leader, the province will no longer be the chair of the Council of the Federation (COF), as well as a planned meeting of the premiers.
On Tuesday, Premier Kelvin Goertzen said COF was planning to hold an in-person meeting of the premiers in Manitoba next month. COF comprises the provincial and territorial premiers, allowing them to work together on initiatives that are national in scope.
The chair of COF alternates between the provinces, with Manitoba initially taking on the role this year.
However, Manitoba has decided to give up the position this year, passing it on to British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan, who had served as vice-chair since June 17, 2021.
Goertzen noted that the COF needs stability and consistency.
“It’s not really fair, I think, for the Council of Federations to have three chairs in about four months,” he said.
“So as much as I would very much have liked to have chaired the meeting, we’ll participate in the meeting next week that will happen virtually after the federal election. It’s not good for the COF generally to have that active changing of the chairs, and there will be another change after our leadership convention at the end of October.”
The Progressive Conservatives will choose between Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson and former MP Shelly Glover to be the next leader of the party on Oct. 30.
Goertzen said he asked Horgan on Wednesday if British Columbia could take on the role this year and for Manitoba to resume the position next year, with Horgan agreeing to the proposal.
“I appreciate Premier Horgan making way for that. I think it will be good for COF to have that consistency,” Goertzen said, noting that Manitoba will serve as vice-chair for the rest of the year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting of the premiers will take place virtually.