REGINA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with First Nations leaders in Saskatchewan today when he visits with the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.
Trudeau is scheduled to have a private discussion with tribal council leadership in Fort Qu’Appelle, about 75 kilometres northeast of Regina.
The prime minister is also expected to meet with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall on Wednesday in Saskatoon.
Wall wants to talk about the gap between on-reserve and off-reserve education funding, support for pipelines and expanding employment insurance benefits.
The premier has praised extensions to EI coverage for 12 areas hit hard by the resource downturn, including northern Saskatchewan.
But he’s also said the federal government made a mistake when it didn’t include workers in southern Saskatchewan’s oil producing regions in those changes.
The federal budget added five weeks to the regular 45 weeks of EI benefits, effective in July and retroactive to January 2015. Long-tenured workers will also be eligible for an extra 20 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 70 weeks.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley met with Trudeau privately on Sunday and then addressed about half of the federal cabinet at a retreat in Kananaskis, Alta.
Notley also advocated for more pipeline support and for Ottawa to enrich employment insurance too. She has expressed concern that workers in Edmonton have been excluded.
But her pleas seem to gain little traction.
On Monday, even as ministers said the meeting with Notley was productive, there were no signs that anything was changing for the Ottawa-Alberta relationship.