Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks following the 2018 First Ministers’ Meeting
It was a pleasure to be here today here in Quebec, in Montreal to gather everyone.
We are just about to conclude a very productive meeting of first ministers here in Montreal. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared priorities, like the need to grow the Canadian economy, create solid, well-paid jobs for the middle class. The economic indicators are clear, including those that were released today, which announced a new record for job creation in November. Our economy is doing well and growing at top speed. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in 40 years, and Canadians now earn more money to support their families, thanks to the largest increase in salaries in nearly 10 years. And the economic growth rate in 2017 was the highest among G7 countries.
Today the first ministers and I discussed the importance of commercial trade to continue to get concrete results for hard-working Canadians. At our meeting last year, I spoke of the efforts made by our government so that a new NAFTA, a renegotiated and modernized NAFTA, was a good agreement for Canada.
And this morning, Ambassador MacNaughton spoke to us of how the new agreement will create jobs, strengthen the middle class and safeguard economic stability.
Earlier today Minister Morneau joined the premiers and me for a discussion on what the federal government can do and is doing to support jobs and our economy. With the 2018 fall economic statement, we helped give Canadians the competitive edge they need, making the marginal effective tax rate for new business investment in Canada the lowest rate in the G7. We spent much of that discussion on the serious challenges facing our energy sector. We talked about working together to support workers and families impacted by the oil price differential. One thing we can all agree on is ensuring growth and job creation and supporting Canadians going through a tough time. I look forward to working closely with Premier Notley and all premiers to find ways to support Canada’s vital energy industry.
This afternoon, we also discussed the importance of encouraging economic growth, while protecting the environment and reducing pollution, in order to fight climate change. Minister McKenna spoke of all the different ways that all levels of government can work together to set up national clean energy projects, which will create jobs.
We also talked about fighting climate change while creating jobs and keeping our economy strong. Canadians want their leaders to build a clean economy, which is why we’re moving forward with a plan to put a price on pollution, because it shouldn’t be free to pollute anywhere in the country. And we will work with every province and territory to build a clean future, create jobs and reduce pollution in our environment.
Finally, the premiers and I talked about improving trade within Canada and unlocking our untapped economic potential, because a strong economy starts at home and the key to success is working together. Minister LeBlanc led a discussion about how we can cooperate on trade between provinces and territories to eliminate barriers, reduce red tape and help small and medium-sized businesses thrive.
Of course, a strong economy means getting good results for all Canadians. Well this morning the premiers and I met with leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council. We talked about working together as partners to create economic growth and prosperity for indigenous communities across the country. Today’s conversations with premiers and with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders were a chance to collaborate on real positive change for people from coast to coast to coast. Together, we can make sure that every Canadian, no matter where they live, can count on a good job, a healthy environment and a bright future.