B.C. Premier Christy Clark held a "friendly, respectful" meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford in Kelowna Friday morning.
The pair met for about an hour, getting coffee and taking a walk together before addressing the media.
Despite the premiers' difficult past relationship, both said they had enjoyed the morning, Clark gifting Redford with a bottle of Quail's Gate Pinot Noir.
Clark said the meeting was very constructive and the pair had agreed to create a ministerial working group that would focus on skills training, immigration and labour.
"We will present a united front to decision-makers across the country to make sure our provinces have the tools we need to be able to grow our respective economies," she said.
Redford agreed the meeting had been very productive.
"I think it will continue to grow the foundation that we have for a spirit of co-operation between the provinces," she said.
Melting the "frost"
Last fall, Clark described the reception she got at a meeting between the pair in Alberta as "frosty."
Since then, disagreements over terms and conditions for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline have driven the two provinces apart, but Clark says talking is the only way to solve an argument.
"We recognized we have so much in common. There is so much more that unites us than divides us."
"I think what really does unite us is wanting to make sure we're growing our economies." —Alberta Premier Alison Redford
She says B.C. is still adamant about environmental conditions linked to the pipeline — and the province has already told federal regulators the project can't go ahead as currently planned.
Clark said they did not discuss the proposed pipeline at the meeting Friday, while Redford insisted she preferred to let the regulatory process run its course and focus on shared interests.
"Canada needs us to work together. We need to find the areas of agreement where we can work together, and not allow the areas where we disagree to divide us on those other things," said Clark.
Redford has previously accused B.C. of simply seeking a larger share of the pipeline profits at Alberta's expense.
Finding common ground
On Friday, both Clark and Redford said they agreed the B.C. and Alberta economies were a priority and that Canada needs to help them create jobs and find workers.
Clark and Redford also complimented each other on their come-from-behind election wins— both were counted out by pollsters and pundits, but each pulled off victories.
"I think we personally share a lot of life experiences and political experiences," Redford said.
"As we move forward, there's lots of opportunity for discussion and I think what really does unite us is wanting to make sure we're growing our economies. That's our best opportunity to work through some of these issues."
Both premiers will be in Winnipeg this weekend for the annual Western Premiers' Conference.