MONTREAL – The last first ministerial conference of Justin Trudo's current term was the hardest.
The proximity of the federal elections and the elections in Alberta definitely contributed to the tension. But these tensions will outweigh the federal and provincial voices next year.
Not all lines that divide the premieres on Friday are composed in the relatively shallow field of the electoral sand.
Anyone who is a prime minister one year will find the same controversial provincial differences in carbon pricing and pipelines.
Some of these differences find Jag Ford in Ontario and Francois Legale of Quebec from different countries.
The two Canadian Prime Ministers made simultaneous fashion appearances at the first ministerial stage in Montreal on Friday.
Here are some early observations about how they fit into the current federal-provincial dynamics and how their presence at the table can boast of a tumultuous future.
Among the participants in the meeting, Ford had the least experience in provincial politics and showed.
Threatening to leave the agenda with the prime minister, he might have hoped to lead a bigger boycott of the event.
But he found little support for a walk among his colleagues.
Manitoba Prime Minister Bryan Palisher, colleague Torrey, talks about the others when he said he did not get to Montreal to save on the first opportunity.
It is not that the prime ministers did not come out or boycott the first ministerial conferences in the past. But almost always had to be highlighted the complaint in which the province was in their hands.
After the Mack Lake Agreement failed in 1990, Quebec stayed away from federal provincial meetings, including the first ministerial conferences for two years.
In 2004, Newfoundland and Labrador Prime Minister Dani Williams left the table, then presided over by Paul Martin for a dispute over the equalization formula.
For comparison, Ford did not have a serious motive – beyond guerrilla recklessness – to justify its threat.
There is a reason why most prime ministers have not discovered over the years that the advance option is attractive and why no Ontario government leader threatened a boycott in the past.
Day by day, the prime minister, with the pure virtue of his position, is in command of the national scene. By comparison, the prime minister often does not get the chance to take over the federal government in front of a pan-Canadian audience.
The former Prime Minister of Newfoundland and Labrador Clyde Wells, who emerged as a key player in mobilizing public opinion against Lake Mike's constitutional settlement in the late 1980s, certainly made the best of the national exposure that the conferences provided him.
While she is looking at her upcoming re-election campaign, Alberta's Prime Minister Rachel Notley reminds us of the maximum use of these days.
At these meetings, Ontario is in his own league with regard to the influence he has on national affairs.
Based on this, Ford's predecessors reasonably feel that it is far more productive to throw their weight at the table than to cast anger on the cameras outside the room. But then they do not unite their role as the leader of the largest province of Canada with that of the federal opposition leader.
As he looks in the next three years of his current term, Ford may want to reflect on the risks of trading Ontario's historic role as a major provincial anchor and the leadership that used it for being released.
After all, it is likely that Truddo will be as long as it is when he heads the Ontario government.
The Quebec League, for its part, will probably never find Trudo more susceptible to his demands than for the period between the current and the next federal elections. Federal liberals are hoping to offset losses elsewhere in Canada with profits in Quebec next fall.
They are not spoiled to fight the new prime minister.
When Legalt crossed the federal camp, he brought a significant number of sovereign sympathizers. If only to avoid breathing new life in Parti Québécois, he must prove that he can make the CAQ connection with the federal government work for Quebec.
The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister have an interest in finding a common ground.
Right now, Legalt is pleased to allow his colleague in Ontario to take on the usual role of the province as a chief scout.
This could change if Andrew Scheer came to power next year. The prime minister of CAQ made it crystal clear on Friday that resuming the project to connect oil sands through Quebec to the Atlantic coast was not a starter for his government. The chances are that these words are not lost in TransCanada, the parent company of the failed Energy East gas pipeline.
Chantal Hebrew is a Ottawa-based journalist who covers politics. Follow her on Twitter: @ChantalHbert