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Stephen Harper set for 1st meeting with Kathleen Wynne in more than a Year

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for the first time in a little over a year today ahead of the gold medal World Juniors hockey game in Toronto.

Wynne’s office confirmed the meeting by releasing the premier’s itinerary for the day. The two are scheduled to meet at 6:15 p.m. ET. Canada faces Russia at 8 p.m. ET.

The prime minister last met with Wynne in Ottawa on Dec. 5, 2013.

Today’s tête-à-tête comes after Wynne sent Harper a series of letters in the last few months urging him to meet with her to discuss a long wish-list related to federal-provincial matters.

Wynne’s most recent letter sent to him on Dec. 11 also included letters from half a dozen of her Liberal cabinet ministers urging their federal counterparts to meet with them to discuss everything from the economy to infrastructure spending.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said it was time Harper met with the premier of Canada’s largest province.

“I am happy that he’s … decided to bury the hatchet, because he was taking a very vitriolic view of the premier of Ontario,” Mulcair said in Ottawa on Monday.

Mulcair criticized Harper for not meeting with Canada’s premiers as a group, either by holding first ministers meetings or by attending the premiers’ Council of the Federation meetings.

This is a federation, we’ve got to work together … Stephen Harper’s never understood it that way.”

Harper was in the Toronto area last month when he met with newly elected Toronto Mayor John Tory at Pearson airport on Dec. 12, but not Wynne.

The prime minister and Wynne have spent the last few months publicly trading barbs over the provincial deficit and infrastructure spending.

Wynne told Harper the relationship between the prime minister and the premier of the country’s largest province should be one of “collaboration, not confrontation.”

Her comments came after Harper said the Ontario government should focus less on “confrontation” and more on getting its fiscal house in order.

Wynne also recently said she had “grave” concerns over Canada’s new prostitution law and asked the province’s attorney general to advise her on the “constitutional validity” of the legislation.

CBC | Toronto News