News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 30, 2013

PREMIER PROMOTES HYDRO, CO-OPERATION ON COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING WITH WESTERN GOVERNORS



SALT LAKE CITY - Premier Greg Selinger promoted the benefits of Manitoba hydroelectricity as a clean and reliable energy source that can support U.S. clean energy policies and asked for co‑operation on fixing U.S. country of origin labelling rules that hurt Manitoba livestock producers at a meeting of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) this weekend. 

The meeting was attended by the governors of Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.

The premier and governors explored new ways to partner on protecting communities from wildfires including co-ordinated monitoring of fire conditions and wildfire detection, and increased resource sharing for firefighting.  They also discussed more flexible ways of delivering post-secondary education in urban and rural communities including competency-based approaches that recognize and build on students’ existing knowledge and experience.

“Canada and the United States have the closest economic and energy relationship in the world, and the WGA provides a valuable opportunity to partner with western governors on shared issues today and to develop relationships for the future,” said Selinger.  "For example, former governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer, who worked with Manitoba through the WGA in past years, was in Winnipeg last week to discuss opportunities for Manitoba companies in the Bakken oil development.”

Selinger was also invited to contribute to the WGA’s Energy Perspectives 2013 report.  As chair of the Western Premiers' Conference, he  stressed the critical role of western Canadian energy, especially clean and reliable hydroelectricity, in powering the North American economy and creating jobs on both sides of the border.

In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the premier discussed Manitoba’s efforts to protect the largest intact tract of boreal forest in the world on the east side of Lake Winnipeg and the value of forests in reducing the impacts of climate change and increasingly severe weather events.  They also agreed on the importance of cross-border collaboration on water issues including flood forecasting and water quality.

During discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the premier promoted Manitoba’s recently announced Lake Friendly Accord as a way for improving inter-jurisdictional management of nutrients in waterways.

“This WGA meeting was an exciting opportunity to continue strengthening our relationship with Western Canada, which is now one of Utah’s top trading partners,” said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.  “Because of our similar climates and cultures, we are a natural fit for increasing economic co‑operation and collaboration.  A stable partnership will support jobs in both regions and will contribute to economic growth.”

Manitoba premiers have participated in WGA meetings for more than two decades.  Manitoba’s total trade with the WGA states exceeded $6 billion in 2012. 

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