Premier Rodney MacDonald concluded the Council of Federation of Premiers meeting today, Aug. 10, in Moncton saying the provinces moved ahead collectively on trade, conservation and energy, and that comparatively speaking, Nova Scotia’s individual efforts in those areas are at the front of the pack. “Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see how much progress our province is making on some of our conservation and energy efforts, and based on the questions and interest I was getting from my colleagues, we are doing some wonderful things in those areas,” said Premier MacDonald. “We should be proud of what we have accomplished in Nova Scotia, while recognizing that there is still much yet to do.” Specifically, the premier referenced tidal energy and the Environmental Goals and Sustainability Act as two areas that generated interest. He also mentioned the considerable interest expressed by all premiers in Greenhouse Gas emissions, and said the province needs to move forward more quickly on determining specific plans on reducing emissions. “Nova Scotia has already established our provincial cap – we will reduce our emission levels by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, as outlined in the act,” said the premier. “We are working on it. We need to take the right approach so as not cause undue harm either to the economy or environment, but we should have an added urgency based on what other provinces are doing.” The premier also said he spoke to all premiers on the Atlantic accord and the implications for federal-provincial agreements in every province. “I received unanimous support from my colleagues that agreements, between the federal and provincial governments, such as the Atlantic accord, should be fully honoured,” said the premier. “I believe they also went home with a deeper appreciation of the accord as an economic development agreement, and what it meant for our province.” The premier also was pleased that the premiers collectively have committed to eliminate restrictions on occupational mobility by April 2009. “Labour mobility is fundamental to a competitive and efficient economy, and it’s great to see that we’re all in agreement on this key issue,” said the premier.