B.C. and Wash. partners in climate action, high tech, good jobs

Gov. Jay Inslee and Premier John Horgan resolved to strengthen the partnership between British Columbia and Washington state, and act jointly to fight climate change, grow the tech sector and create good jobs across the region.

Today, Inslee and Horgan met privately, where they discussed trade, climate change and stronger transportation links between the regions. Following the meeting, Inslee addressed the B.C. legislature. The last time a Washington state governor addressed the B.C. legislature was in 1984.

“Governor Inslee and I are excited about working together to deliver strong, sustainable economic development that works for people on both sides of the border,” said Premier Horgan. “Through initiatives like the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, we’re building stronger bonds between B.C. and Washington state, including better transportation links and the expansion of innovative industries like the job-creating tech sector.”

“Washington state and British Columbia share an important history and our people all share an innovative spirit,” Inslee said. “This region is stronger when we face challenges and opportunities together.”

Gov. Jay Inslee met with Premier John Horgan in Victoria, B.C., Nov. 21, 2017 (Official Office of the Governor photo)

The leaders discussed the importance of the Pacific Coast Collaborative’s joint action on climate change.

“Our government is making B.C. a leader in climate action. We’re working with climate leaders around the world to cut carbon pollution, while making life more affordable for people and creating good jobs,” said Horgan. “We have a true partner in Governor Inslee in the fight against climate change.”

“Today, I am here with the hope that together we will usher in a new era ― one that moves past polluting fossil fuels and embraces a clean-energy future,” Inslee said. “There is no doubt in my mind that clean-energy technologies open doors to economic prosperity. And they are also key to our strategy to not just mitigate, but defeat climate change. This is one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Inslee’s visit marks the first official bilateral meeting hosted by Premier Horgan since taking office in July 2017.

Gov. Jay Inslee addresses the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Nov. 21, 2017 (Official Office of the Governor photo)

Further information and meeting take aways:

  • Total Canada-Washington goods trade is valued at approximately $25.6 billion (CAD).
  • Inslee and Horgan discussed steps to create more opportunities for growth and good-paying jobs throughout the region and the importance of mutually beneficial trade between jurisdictions and, specifically, their support for a modernized and progressive trade partnership. The leaders agreed challenges such as the softwood lumber dispute should not stand in the way of gains to be made from co-operation.
  • High priorities included making cross-border travel more efficient with a Vancouver-Seattle seaplane service and a Vancouver-Seattle-Portland high-speed rail service, and support for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor that brings together governments with the tech sector to increase linkages and collaboration between Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle.
  • Horgan and Inslee expressed confidence that the Government of Canada will allow the Vancouver-Seattle seaplane service project to proceed. The results of a feasibility study for the high-speed rail project is expected next month.
  • Horgan and Inslee also discussed work with other West Coast partners to fight climate change and secure a shared healthy ocean through initiatives like the Pacific Coast Collaborative.
  • In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 23 in Bonn, Germany last week, Horgan and Inslee joined with the governors of Oregon and California, and committed to collective action on climate change.
  • West Coast government leaders are building more sustainable economies by stepping up efforts to get more electric vehicles on roads, make buildings more energy efficient, advance renewable energy technology to help spur innovation, attract investment, create jobs, and make our communities more resilient for the future.
Gov. Inslee and Premier Horgan address the media in Victoria, B.C., Nov. 21, 2017 (Photo courtesy of the Province of British Columbia)

Following their meeting and the governor’s address, Horgan and Inslee released a joint statement.

“Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to work closely together and strengthen the enduring and unique partnership between British Columbia and Washington state.

“We recognize our shared responsibility to protect the environment, grow our economies, find new opportunities to expand our flourishing tech and innovation corridor, and create good jobs on both sides of the border.

“Our governments remain committed to joint action and leadership in the fight against climate change, and in the pursuit of strong, sustainable economic development that works for the people of Washington and British Columbia.”

Watch the video of Gov. Inslee’s remarks to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia:

(Province of British Columbia video)