The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) held its annual summit in Saskatoon last week and Swift Current's MLA was in attendance.
PNWER was founded in 1991 and featured the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and the provinces of Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and the territories of Yukon and the Northwest Territories. It is a collaborative regional U.S.-Canadian organization dedicated to addressing common issues and interests like encouraging global economic competitiveness and preserving the natural environment.
Everett Hindley, who is the MLA for Swift Current, and said it was a good week of sessions.
"It was a good opportunity to be part of the PNWER sessions last week in Saskatoon," he said. "It had a pretty jam-packed schedule of sessions. Some of the topics were trade, forestry, tourism, agriculture, climate policy, economic growth, transportation, innovation, mining, that's just a sampling of some of the sessions that were taking place."
Hindley said that there were a couple of sessions that he felt had important to the Swift Current and southwest area.
"The trade panel sessions were sessions where we talked about, kind of the future of trade between our countries and even outside of our borders," he said. "Trade and how that's changed as a result of some of the issues ongoing with countries. Another couple of sessions that I participated in and had a chance to take part in were panel sessions on climate change. Because of our location, borders are important and crossing the Canadian-American border."
He added that another topic of note was with renewable energy.
"The energy panel sessions were of keen interest because of the significance of oil and gas here in Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan. We talked about what's happening in some of the estates in terms of where there going with respect to renewable energy," Hindley said. "Got some really good ideas, particularly from the northwestern states about what's happening with respect to climate change and renewable energy."
Overall, Hindley said that the summit provided a great chance to meet and share ideas.
"It was a good pick of ideas from legislators from other parts of western Canada and the northwestern United States as we try to find some solutions to some of these things. There's a lot of great ideas shared. You're not always wanting to reinvent the wheel so if you can avoid doing that and have a meeting and talk and learn from other jurisdictions, other states and provinces, perhaps you can save yourself a bit of a headache and look at what's been tried in other jurisdictions and the same goes for them."
The summit ran from Sunday night to Thursday afternoon, and saw around 500 people attend.