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Elder Walter Cooke holds an eagle feather as he conducts the opening prayer for premiers from across the country and National Aboriginal Organization leaders during a meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on July 24, 2013. (AARON LYNETT/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Elder Walter Cooke holds an eagle feather as he conducts the opening prayer for premiers from across the country and National Aboriginal Organization leaders during a meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on July 24, 2013. (AARON LYNETT/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

At Council of the Federation, premiers take on a crowded agenda Add to ...

Mr. Wall, however, might have trouble wooing support. Quebec has little interest in weighing in on the subject. “Reforming federal institutions is not an objective of our government,” Ms. Marois’s spokesperson, Marie Barrette, said in an e-mail. “Our mandate is to defend the interests of Quebec.”

Manitoba has called for meaningful reform or abolition, but the Senate is “not a priority for us at this meeting,” Mr. Selinger said.

THE FUTURE OF THE CPP

How much should Canadians be forced to save for retirement? That’s the question that will be posed by Ms. Wynne, who favours overhauls to the Canada Pension Plan that would consider bigger mandatory deductions to fund bigger payouts.

Other premiers, however, are cool to the idea. Saskatchewan would rather pursue pooled registered pension plans, which allow private companies to develop and sustain their own pension programs. Ms. Redford said she doesn’t want any CPP increases while the economy continues to stumble.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been discussing CPP changes with provincial colleagues since at least 2008, but no proposal has won broad support.

Talks are, as such, expected to continue.

POWER IN THE NORTH

The Yukon needs power, literally. Canada’s western-most territory will use the meeting to seek allies in its push for help in spurring an expansion of its power system. “With more energy infrastructure, what we can do is unlock a lot of opportunities for more economic growth,” Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski said in an interview.

Mr. McLeod agreed the NWT needs “more energy, [and] cheaper forms of power so that we can have more development.”

Mr. McLeod also plans to push for the North to begin hosting Council of the Federation meetings. “I think it would signal we’re an important part of the federation. That, as a territory, we’re on the same playing field as the other provinces and territories,” he said.

Nunavut, meanwhile, also plans on raising its pressing need for energy, but its population being so spread out makes its case different than that of Mr. Pasloski. Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak also plans to seek the premiers’ support for devolution, which would see the territory be given province-like control over its natural resources.

With a report from Shawn McCarthy

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