Prime minister will not attend first ministers' meeting on economy: spokesman

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HALIFAX - A spokesman in the Prime Minister's Office says Stephen Harper won't attend a first ministers meeting on the economy.

The premiers joined together last week in calling on Harper to meet with them in Halifax in November to talk about the state of the world economy and its effects on Canadians.

But Harper spokesman Andrew MacDougall said in an email today that the prime minister wouldn't attend such a gathering.

He said Harper meets with the provincial leaders regularly on an individual basis, adding that he has had 74 meetings with them since 2010.

Harper hasn't attended a first ministers meeting since 2009 when he met with the premiers to discuss the economy following the global financial crisis.

Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter said last week that it was urgent that the prime minister sit down with the premiers to make sure the provinces are protected from economic downturns.

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia

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