Established in 2003 by the Premiers, the Council of the Federation (COF) is a unique institution. It is a high-level multilateral government forum that comprises the 13 provincial and territorial premiers. The Council's objectives include:
Québec spearheaded the creation of the COF with the aim of renewing the idea behind the annual premiers' meetings, the first of which had been hosted by Québec in 1960, and of providing a more formal structure for the dynamics of intergovernmental relations among the federated entities.
Since being founded, the COF has tackled issues such as the fiscal imbalance, internal trade and healthcare. The Council normally meets twice a year. It entrusts mandates to working groups on specific issues, and sponsors symposiums as well. To date, the Council has also participated in three foreign missions (China in 2008, 2012 and 2014 and Washington in 2011).
The Council has a secretariat located in Ottawa and has its own Web site: http://www.canadaspremiers.ca/en/