June 18, 2015
PNWER delegation visits Ottawa
A high-powered delegation of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region just completed a successful three-day visit to Ottawa to meet with U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, several Canadian federal ministers, government representatives and private-sector leaders to build relationships and discuss issues of regional concern.

The PNWER delegation included: Hon. David Ramsay, PNWER president and Minister of Justice and Industry, Tourism and Investment, Northwest Territories; Dan Ashton, MLA for British Columbia; Rep. Mike Cuffe, Montana; Hon. Herb Cox, Saskatchewan Minister of Environment, Saskatchewan; Colin Smith, PNWER Private Sector Co-Chair; and Harkiran Rajasansi, Consul, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service, Consulate General of Canada. Matt Morrison, Executive Director of PNWER, Brandon Hardenbrook, Deputy Director of PNWER, Nadette Schermann, Senior International Relations Officer for the Government of Saskatchewan and Ryan Strain, Executive Assistant to Min. Ramsay, also attended.
Ambassador Bruce Heyman

The delegation met with Ambassador Heyman on June 8 to discuss how to make the Beyond the Border plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council a permanent part of the US- Canada institutional landscape.

Many recommendations from PNWER stakeholders were included in the RCC's Regulatory Partnership Statements and Annual Work Plans
Hon. Ed Fast

The PNWER delegation met Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, to encourage an effective solution to Country of Origin Labelling and to ask the Minister's advice on how to ensure the Beyond the Border initiative and Regulatory Cooperation Council continue into the next Canadian and U.S. administrations. 
Hon. Lisa Raitt

We spoke with Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, and emphasized the large role ports play in supporting market access for Western Canadian goods. We also shared findings of needed infrastructure in Western Canada and the Arctic taken from the PNWER North American Arctic Marine and Intermodal Corridors and Resource Development Roundtable held in Vancouver, B.C. in January.

Hon. Leona Aqlukkaq

We discussed arctic development issues and the need for a regional perimeter defense against zebra/quagga mussels with Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council.

The delegation also attended a meeting with the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and heard his comments on new models of cooperation 
in a global arctic.

Hon. Denis Lebel


During a meeting with Hon. Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, PNWER delegates reviewed the need for transportation infrastructure to support development in the Arctic. We also stressed the importance of making sure Western Canadian goods can flow swiftly across the U.S.-Canada border in both directions.

Hon. Michelle Rempel


A meeting with Hon. Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, showed that PNWER shares the minister's goals for regional economic development in the west. We discussed Western Canada's efforts to develop cross-border markets for goods and services and encouraged the promotion of innovation throughout the region by leveraging resources at secondary and

research institutions.

Sen. Richard Neufeld


The delegation was joined by Colin Robertson of the CDFAI and Eric Miller from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, then met with the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Sen. Richard Neufeld. 


Discussion included sharing a recent study by the committee on Northern Housing and Energy Efficiency with PNWER's Arctic Caucus members, as well as North American energy safety and security. 


A meeting with Kevin O'Shea, Assistant Secretary of Border Action Plan Implementation, Robert Carberry, Assistant Secretary, RCC Secretariat and Ben Lones, an advisor for the Border Action Plan Implementation, gave us an opportunity to ask how we can support the Beyond the Border forward plan and expand the list of regulatory processes before regulations are written for the Regulatory Cooperation Council. We also reported on pre-clearance implementation in the Pacific Northwest. 

PNWER Summit Coming Soon - Register Today!
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region's 25th Annual Summit, July 12-16 in Big Sky, Montana, is rapidly approaching! The biggest cross-border issues and regional challenges impacting economic development, trade and our natural resources and environment will be discussed and addressed at in-depth workshops and policy sessions.

Book your travel now!
Flights are filling quickly into Bozeman so book yours soon. Once in Bozeman, you can rent a car, take a shuttle, or join a rideshare to Big Sky Resort. Visit our Travel page for more information.

Hotel Room Blocks End June 19
PNWER hotel room blocks for the conference end June 19, so book your room before then to secure your spot. Big Sky Resort is a popular tourist destination and rooms will fill up quickly. 

Visit our accommodations page for more information. 
University presidents confirmed speakers at Big Sky
Dr. Royce C. Engstrom
President, University of Montana

The University of Montana's 17th President, Dr. Royce C. Engstrom, assumed his duties on October 15, 2010, after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for three years. He came to Missoula in 2007 from the University of South Dakota, where he served as Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a faculty member, Engstrom taught Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and General Chemistry and conducted an active research program in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry.

President Engstrom is interested in science policy, higher education public policy, program development, and in building relationships between the various stakeholders in higher education.

Born in Michigan, Engstrom  received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a wife, Mary, and two grown children, Tyler and Carey. 
Dr. Waded Cruzado
President, Montana State University

Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University.

During Cruzado's tenure, MSU has competitively won more than $400 million for research. In 2011-12, MSU set an institutional record of $112.3 million in research expenditures. Some recent projects include the renovation of Cooley Lab thanks to a $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, as well as a $67 million grant from the Department of Energy for the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration partnership, which is housed at MSU.

In 2014, President Cruzado was elected to serve a three-year term on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board of Directors, the governing and policymaking body of the association.

Prior to coming to MSU, President Cruzado served as executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University, posts she held since Sept. 1, 2007, and served as NMSU's interim president from 2008-2009.

Cruzado has a master of arts in Spanish and a doctorate in the humanities, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.

U.S. Arctic Policy Conference

Steve Myers, senior program manager at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, presented our work to help build a framework for North American arctic cooperation and leadership at the Second Annual Policy Options for a Changing Arctic conference, held June 12 in Montreal, Quebec.

Admiral Robert J. Papp, U.S. State Department's Special Representative for the Arctic, Susan Harper, Canada's Senior Arctic Official and H.E. Charles Murto, Ambassador of Finland to Canada, also participated in this important discussion of U.S. and Canadian priorities and strategies in a developing arctic.

Spotlight on Policy Sessions
The 22 policy sessions at the summit will address: workforce development, energy, market access, mining, water policy, border issues, expanding natural gas markets, energy and environment, trade and economic development, tourism, higher education and innovation. 

See our schedule and full agenda for the Summit. 

Today we spotlight agendas for our working sessions on Tourism, Border Issues and Energy Energy & Environment.

9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, July 13.

Room: Mammoth 1

Co-chairs: Dave Cowen, General Manager of Butchart Gardens & Meg O'Leary, Director, Montana Department of Commerce




Opportunities to market winter tourism in the region. The economic impact of tourism in the region.

  • Taylor Middleton, General Manager, Big Sky Resort

Update on past PNWER Tourism Progress

Norpass, First Nations Tourism, Sichuan Visa.

  • Dave Cowen,  General Manager, The Butchart Gardens

Tourism's Impact on the Economies of the PNWER Region 
  • Paul Nursey, President & CEO, Tourism Victoria 
Leveraging tourism marketing in the PNWER region

How can PNWER can leverage other tourism promotions and initiatives in the region?

  • Moderator: Paul Nursey, President & CEO, Tourism Victoria

  • Trina Mousseau, Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Victoria

  • Glenniss Indreland, Brand Manager, Big Sky

Panel: Passenger Rail Tourism in the PNWER Region

  • Alroy Chan, Director, Corporate Development, Rocky Mountaineer

  • Rob Eaton, Senior Manager, Government Affairs, Amtrak  

Unlocking marine tourism potential in the region

Showcasing different methods of marine tourism, their economic impact and examples of successful advocacy work with elected officials.

  • Greg Wirtz, President, Cruise Lines International Association

  • Ryan Malane, Vice President of Marketing, Black Ball Ferry Line

  • Peter Schrappen, Director of Governmental Affairs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

Preclearance and its potential effect on tourism

Update on the US-Canada preclearance agreement requirements for facilities and progress of the agreement as it moves through Canadian and US legislatures prior to implementation

  • Dave Cowen, General Manager of Butchart Garden

  • Bruce Agnew, Director, Cascadia Center

Discussion and Action Items

Border Issues

9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 14

Co-chairs: Senator John Brenden, Montana & Laurie Trautman, Border Policy Research Institute

Room: Mammoth 2


Where are we in the Beyond the Border Process?

  • Ben Lones, Advisor, Border Implementation Team, Privy Council Office, Government of Canada

Update on Pre-Clearance Implementation Task Force

  • Rob Eaton, Senior Manager, Government Affairs, Amtrak   

Pacific Northwest Border Solutions Council

How can we leverage PNWER's 25 year history of bringing together public and private sector leaders to craft real solutions?

  • Barry Penner, former BC Attorney General and Environment Minister

Case Study on a specific Border Issue -  Agricultural Parts Distribution Across Montana/Saskatchewan Border

  • Sara Swanson Partridge, Highline Farm Equipment (invited)

Borders in Globalization (BIG)

BIG is an international partnership of academics and practitioners in border studies, governance and management collaborating on a range of research agendas to formulate policy recommendations related to borders.  Research has begun examining several specific areas including labor migration, environmental management, and security frameworks.     

  • Laurie Trautman, Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University

Inland Border Issues impacting Alberta and Montana

Detailed assessment of the nature of goods flowing across the BC-Alberta border, exploring recent trends in the movement of labor, goods and capital. What are the specific policy recommendations to address these issues impacting inland northwest borders? What is being overlooked that demands investigation?

  • Geoffrey Hale, University of Lethbridge

Discussion and Action Items

Energy & Environment
Chair: Paul Manson, Chairman, Sea Breeze Power Corp.

Roadmap to Resilient, Net-Zero Buildings in the Pacific Northwest

Introduction to energy efficiency, Net-Zero construction and deep retrofits

  • Benefits of energy efficiency

  • Explanation of Net-Zero construction and deep retrofits

Progress report on White Paper for Roadmap

  • Brief overview of 16 case studies

Legislative Leads and Net-Zero Networks of key stakeholders


Industry Perspective Panel

  • Kevin Davis, Director of Sales, Quad-Lock Building Systems Ltd.

Legislative Perspective Panel

Next Steps for the Roadmap


Utility of the Future:

Panel discussion on tools for policy makers, regulators, utilities to address distributed generation energy resource planning


Opportunities for our region and next steps for policy makers

  • Ken Nichols, Principal, EQL ENERGY
  • Dr. Ron Melton, Director, Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration project, PNNL
Discussion and Action Items
Nominate Cross-Border Leaders for PNWER Awards
Do you know someone who has improved relations between the U.S. and Canada or designed and implemented a solution to a cross border issue? Nominate them for PNWER awards!

Every year, PNWER recognizes exemplary leaders who are reducing tension between the US and Canada in our region, or playing a major role in bringing greater awareness and collaboration between cross-border organizations and stakeholders.

Members of the private sector are eligible for the Robert Day Memorial Award and public sector individuals are recognized with the Hot Potato Award. Nominations are now open!

Hot Potato and Robert Day Memorial nomination forms are available here.  

Please return submissions are due as soon as possible.
Photo credits: 
River: Montana Office of Tourism
Big Sky Resort
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