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Trudeau to meet Dec. 9 with premiers, Indigenous leaders

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is confirming plans to meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts Dec. 9 in Ottawa, as well as with First Nations, Inuit and Metis leaders.

The leaders will be joined by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, who will be in Ottawa for meetings with Trudeau Dec. 8 and 9, the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office announced today.

The statement from the White House said Biden will participate in bilateral meetings to discuss “the strong partnership between the United States and Canada” and would also speak with the first ministers “on a range of bilateral and global issues.”

In a statement announcing the Dec. 9 first ministers’ meeting, Trudeau’s Liberal government touted its efforts to work with the provinces and territories on a “pan-Canadian” framework for clean growth and climate change.

The statement says the ministers will work to finalize that framework during the meeting, and confirm the steps necessary to implement it.

It doesn’t mention health care funding, which the premiers have made clear they intend to put on the meeting agenda, whether the prime minister wants it there or not.

The provinces and territories are pushing back against federal plans to halve the amount by which federal health transfer payments increase each year.

The statement says Trudeau’s meeting with the leaders from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council will “discuss the framework and indigenous perspectives” in advance of the first ministers’ meeting.