The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA

First Ministers conference

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In Canada, a First Ministers' conference is a meeting of the provincial and territorial premiers and the Prime Minister. These events are held at the call of the prime minister and, since 1950, have typically been held annually. They are usually held in Ottawa. Though known as "First Ministers' conferences" only since the 1960s, they ultimately trace their origin to the initial constitutional convention held in the mid-1860s at Charlottetown, PEI, then-capital of the British Province of Prince Edward Island. After confeder tion, two conferences of provincial premiers were held, in 1887 and 1902, in which the federal government was not represented. Altogether, 76 First Ministers' conferences have been held since the first was convened by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1906, at the request of the provinces. Some important First Ministers' conferences were those leading up to the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords. The failed Charlottetown Accord contained a provision that would have made annual First Ministers' conferences obligatory.

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