One hundred B.C. business leaders on their way to meet Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

‘Federation Flight’ crew lands in Alberta

Iain Black addresses the "Federation Flight" group | Photo: Hayley Woodin

One hundred B.C. business, labour, chambers of commerce and Indigenous leaders have touched down in Edmonton after a smooth Federation Flight from YVR.

Dubbed the “Federation Flight” because of its goal to support a positive relationship between all provinces, the group — organized as part of a joint initiative between the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT), Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Chamber of Commerce — will travel Thursday morning (May 17) to meet Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at the legislature in a gesture of interprovincial solidarity.

The flight manifest is private, but the group is hardly subtle. Bright red scarves that read ‘Canada’ are wrapped around necks and “Federation Flight” pins are being placed on lapels. The one-day trip is a display of solidarity intended to show that the Greater Vancouver and B.C. business community supports their counterparts in Alberta — as well as their pipeline interests.

GVBOT president and CEO Iain Black announced over the Air Canada flight’s speakers that 10 First Nations and Indigenous leaders were participating in the trip. This includes former Simpcw First Nation chief Keith Wallace, who said such a First Nations presence wouldn’t have existed on a trip of this nature 30 years ago.

Local business associations also have a strong showing in the group. This includes Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association CEO Elizabeth Model, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce president Jack Nicholson and Kristin Parsons, executive director of the Mission Chamber.

Senior executives from Ledcor, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, professionals and individuals from labour, transportation and manufacturing industries are participating.

Black called the group one of the most diverse gatherings he’s seen.

“We are not trying to escalate tensions,” said Black on flight AC 232.

This is a developing story.