Yukon's new Liberal premier meets Justin Trudeau in Ottawa

Sandy Silver, who was sworn in as premier last weekend, is in the capital for the first ministers meeting.

Just days after his swearing in, Sandy Silver sits down with the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in his office on Parliament Hill on Thursday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Sandy Silver, who was sworn in as Yukon's new Liberal premier last Saturday, began his first official trip to Ottawa by meeting a kindred political spirit — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Silver is in the capital this week for a meeting of Canada's first ministers. Much of the discussion is expected to focus on carbon pricing and the environment.

Trudeau sat down for a photo op with Silver on Thursday morning, and tweeted a welcome to the new premier, saying he was "looking forward to working together to fight climate change & protect our environment."

Carbon pricing became a central issue in Yukon's election this fall, with the governing Yukon Party vowing to fight against any carbon tax imposed by Ottawa. The Liberals argued that carbon pricing was inevitable, and promised to work with Ottawa to ensure those funds come back to Yukoners as rebates.

Together again

Silver and Trudeau have met before, under vastly different circumstances. In 2013, Trudeau visited Whitehorse and sat down with his fellow Liberal, but it wasn't clear then whether either of them were destined for power — the Liberals had third-party status in the House of Commons and the Yukon legislature, Trudeau was being dismissed by many as a lightweight, and Silver was a one-man caucus.

Silver tweeted about the meeting, saying 'we agree, a gender balanced cabinet is key.' (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Then the Liberal tide hit Canada, and Yukon. Conservative Ryan Leef was ousted in Yukon by Liberal MP Larry Bagnell in last year's federal election, and Silver lead his party to a majority government in last month's territorial election. It's only the second time Yukoners have elected a Liberal government.

Silver tweeted about his brief meeting with Trudeau on Thursday, saying "thank you for the meeting. We agree, a gender balanced cabinet is key." (Silver appointed all three female Liberal MLAs to his seven-person cabinet).

Silver also met on Thursday for the first time (as premier) with his territorial counterparts — N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod, and Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna.



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