Just four out of seven premiers will be at the Western Premiers’ Conference that gets underway in Iqaluit today, as premiers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are held back due to flooding, and British Columbia’s Christy Clark is absent due to a scheduling conflict.

Alberta’s Dave Hancock, Yukon’s Darrell Pasloski and the Northwest Territories’ Bob McLeod will meet with Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna in a hotel overlooking Frobisher Bay. Manitoba’s deputy premier will also attend.

Discussions are expected to focus on development of natural resources and its impact on northern and remote communities, but Taptuna says the agenda is broader than that.

“Including rural and remote communities' emerging issues,” he says. “Of course, one is competitiveness, disaster management, and housing and a couple of the things… workforce development.”

The premiers’ arrival coincides with Nunavut Day, which marks the passing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act in 1993.

The event, a statutory holiday in Nunavut, is marked with parades, barbecues, speeches and other celebrations in almost all of Nunavut’s 25 communities.

The premiers are also arriving as local officials are discussing plans to put out a dump fire that has now entered its seventh continuous week of burning.