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February 28, 2006
(Executive Council)

Province to shine as host of annual summer meeting of Council of the Federation

Newfoundland and Labrador will command the countryís attention this summer when the province hosts the nationís premiers for the annual summer meeting of the Council of the Federation (COF). Premier Danny Williams today provided an update on the conference preparations, where he will also assume the role of chair of COF.

"The province is honoured to host our countryís premiers and we look forward to this tremendous opportunity to showcase our warm hospitality, rich cultural heritage, and our vibrant economic potential," said Premier Williams. "I have every confidence that we will shine and demonstrate why we are indeed Canadaís youngest and coolest province, as we welcome hundreds of delegates from across the country."

The conference will be held in St. Johnís from July 26-28, with a pre-conference meeting scheduled in the Humber Valley region on July 25. The annual conference gives premiers the opportunity to discuss priorities for all Canadians. With close to 400 delegates including premiers and their families, government officials and national media, the conference is expected to generate approximately $1.4 million in economic spin-off for local businesses.

As the lead province, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador holds the responsibility of organizing as well as hosting the conference. Detailed planning is currently underway including co-ordination of registration and accommodation, transportation and security details. Work will begin soon to co-ordinate the agenda items for discussions by the premiers.

"The Council of the Federation facilitates the provinces and territories in taking a leadership role in building a more effective and cooperative federal system," added Premier Williams. "The council has undertaken several important pan-Canadian initiatives to date on issues such post-secondary education and skills training, transportation, fiscal imbalance and energy. I look forward to taking on the responsibility as chair of COF, and look forward to hosting this summerís meeting where we will strike the balance between facilitating constructive discussions and providing our delegates with a memorable cultural experience."

Government will be offering corporate partnership opportunities to help offset the conference budget of $1.5 million. In keeping with governmentís practice of openness and accountability, public expressions of interest will be issued to ensure all companies and interested parties have an equal opportunity to participate. A copy of the official Expressions of Interest will be advertised this week and will also be available on-line at or by contacting the Government Purchasing Agency at (709) 729-3348. Previous host provinces have also invited corporate partners to participate in the annual conference.

The expressions of interest process will outline corporate partnership packages ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 and give both provincial and national companies a chance to participate. Partnership opportunities include transportation, conference events, technology, as well as social programming.

"2006 has been touted as a banner year for convention business in this province, and this will certainly be one of the highlights. In addition to providing our guests with a memorable experience, a conference of this magnitude will provide a great opportunity to share the many success stories of our province with the national media who will be in attendance," said Premier Williams.

The Council of Federation was created by the premiers in 2003 to ensure provinces and territories help lead in the revitalization of the Canadian Federation and in building a more constructive federal system. This summerís conference represents the 47th annual meeting of premiers. For more information on the COF visit

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500,

2006 02 28                                  3:30 p.m.

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