Inslee meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The 23rd governor and 23rd prime minister met in Seattle

Gov. Jay Inslee today met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss cross-border collaboration on climate action, trade and economic development.

“It’s an opportunity to talk about the incredibly close ties between Washington state and British Columbia, and indeed, all of Canada,” Trudeau said at the start of the meeting. “We’re both very strongly engaged on issues of climate change, on issues of openness to trade, on leadership on refugees as well, and an understanding that diversity can be a real source of strength.”

Gov. Jay Inslee and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during their meeting in Seattle, Wash., May 18, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

“We share so much more with Canada than just a common border,” Inslee said. “We share an incredible commitment to defeating climate change and a recognition that we can grow our economies while we’re doing that. We share a view that innovation is the very heartbeat of our economies. We share this commitment to keep our hearts open to the dispossessed and refugees of the world, and to have a leader of our neighbor to the north who is committed to these things is great. I’m looking forward to this discussion.”

Gov. Jay Inslee and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during their meeting in Seattle, Wash., May 18, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

The governor and prime minister discussed their respective efforts around curbing carbon pollution. Inslee has implemented a Clean Air Rule to cap carbon pollution and continues to examine options for carbon pollution pricing. Trudeau described the pollution reduction initiatives underway in their largest provinces, including the success of British Columbia’s program. They also discussed Washington’s efforts to transition away from coal-fired electricity and the job potential of the clean energy economy.

Inslee and Trudeau discussed the Cascadia Innovation Corridor and expressed their support for ultra high-speed rail and seaplane service that can improve connectivity and help grow business opportunities on both sides of the border, particularly in the tech and life sciences industries. They also discussed the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement, with Inslee noting that with full repeal of the 30-year trade agreement off the table, it’s appropriate to discuss improvements that could be mutually beneficial to both countries.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during their meeting in Seattle, Wash., May 18, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)

Inslee thanked Trudeau for Canada’s work to build a new wastewater treatment plant in Victoria, B.C., and expressed his appreciation for the leadership of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. They also briefly discussed increased oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea and efforts to protect the area’s southern resident orca whale pod. Inslee offered to share the state’s expertise and work on this issue with a hope of continued and increased coordination, such as use of tug escorts in the Haro Strait.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during their meeting in Seattle, Wash., May 18, 2017. (Official Governor’s Office Photo)