BIG SKY, MONT. – North is meeting south this month as government and business leaders from British Columbia are participating in the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region’s (PNWER) 30th annual and first-ever hybrid summit in Montana.
MLA Rick Glumac, Premier John Horgan’s official representative to PNWER, along a group of other government officials are attending the summit virtually. The in-person summit is taking place in Big Sky, Mont.
“During the four-day meeting, B.C. delegates will have a great opportunity to collaborate with counterparts from across Western Canada and the Northwestern United States,” said Glumac, who also serves as PNWER Canadian vice-president. “B.C. is proud to be a member of PNWER. It’s a valuable forum to network and build partnerships, showcase and explore exciting innovations and opportunities, and seek solutions on a wide range of regional challenges, from economic recovery to addressing climate change.”
Leaders at the summit plan to discuss a number of B.C.-related topics, including wildfire mitigation and response, COVID-19, border management, regional economic recovery, technology solutions to pandemic challenges and investment in broadband.
A series of B.C. ministers will each speak on panels alongside representatives from other jurisdictions.
Bruce Ralston, energy minister, will make a presentation on CleanBC and B.C.’s energy policies, highlighting electrification initiatives, zero-emissions vehicle incentives, B.C.’s recently announced Hydrogen Strategy, and Cleantech innovation.
Katrine Conroy, forestry minister, will address delegates about the importance of the Columbia River Treaty to both the U.S. and Canada, the current negotiations to modernize the treaty and related work underway outside the negotiation process.
Rob Fleming, transportation minister, will speak about building back better from the pandemic, B.C.’s record $26.4-billion capital plan, and how the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving forward with six major projects. He will also discuss the potential of future high-speed rail transportation between B.C., Washington state and Oregon.
Formed in 1991, PNWER is a non-partisan public-private sector partnership that includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and the U.S. states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.