Alberta to host B.C., Sask. at cabinet summit

Premiers and key cabinet ministers of Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan will meet in Calgary Friday for a joint summit.

Premiers and key cabinet ministers from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan will meet in Calgary Friday for a joint summit.

British Columbia's Gordon Campbell and Saskatchewan's Brad Wall will bring a complement of cabinet ministers to the meeting, expected to focus on preparations for the post-recession economy and the Western Economic Partnership.

Saskatchewan's premier confirmed economic co-operation will be at the top of his "to-do" list.

"Some provinces have international offices to promote resource development and investment attraction" he said. "We don't have any of those, for example, in Asia. We would like to have a bigger presence in Asia, and so rather than reinvent the wheel, we're going to look at co-operating in commonsense ways like that."

Wall will bring Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd, Enterprise Minister Ken Cheveldayoff, Environment Minister Nancy Heppner and Corrections Minister Yogi Huyghebaert to the summit.

Wall said the premiers hope to advance discussions on a Western Economic Partnership between the three western-most provinces.

"At our inaugural meeting in Vancouver back in March, the three western provinces agreed to begin discussions on a new Western Economic Partnership that will reduce barriers to investment and growth and see our provinces working more co-operatively as we seek to strengthen and diversify our export-dependent economies," Wall said.

"Since that meeting, there's been a lot of good work done to accomplish this, and I look forward to making more progress on Friday."

At a March meeting of premiers and cabinet ministers in Vancouver, there was agreement that the emphasis of a Western Economic Partnership would be internal trade, innovation and international marketing. The partnership would help remove internal trade barriers and foster interprovincial collaboration.

The three provinces also want to identify areas for collaboration and avoiding duplication and engage in joint marketing and investment attraction.