2002 Western Premiers’ Conference


DAWSON CITY, June 6, 2002 - Premiers and Governors considered co-operative approaches to Canada-U.S. relations and trade including border issues and energy at discussions today.

Today's discussion included Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, Alaska Governor Tony Knowles as well as U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci and Canadian Ambassador Michael Kergin.

Premiers and Governors reviewed and released a progress report of their meeting in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, last August. The report includes a summary of co-operative cross-border activities that have been and are being undertaken on:

  • Border issues including security, emergency preparedness, crime prevention and law enforcement, and transportation/trade corridors;
  • Trade;
  • Agriculture, specifically animal health and safety regulations;
  • Transportation; and
  • Energy.

Also at last year's meeting, it was agreed to explore ways that Western states and provinces could improve the coordination of cross-border fire fighting activities. Premier Doer shared the progress being made and will be presenting the results of this review at the 2002 Western Governors' Association meeting in Phoenix, Arizona later this month.

Premiers and Governors applauded the national and state-provincial/territorial initiatives that have taken place in the past year, and particularly since September 11, 2001, to increase cross-border security while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. They agreed that defending the security of North America includes protecting the most productive and beneficial two-way economic relationship in the world.

They agreed that while the Canadian and U.S. federal governments have primary responsibility for border security, state and provincial/territorial governments can take action to co-ordinate their resources and those of local responders. This will help protect and secure their citizens and ensure their jurisdictions are prepared to act in any emergencies.

They also agreed that while co-operation has improved significantly in recent months, there are further measures that can be undertaken. In a report released today, premiers and governors called for:

  • Federal governments to expedite co-ordination and collaboration in implementing the Canada-U.S. Border Accord and to consult with them prior to making commitments that need provincial/state support;
  • Emergency measures organizations to review whether gaps exist in information sharing and report back;
  • Strengthened cross-border law enforcement and crime prevention co-operation;
  • Expanded federal funding for corridor development and continued enhanced provincial/territorial/state co-operation in the development of defined transportation corridors in the west such as prioritizing infrastructure and technology development, and working together on regulatory harmonization.

Premiers' and Governors' energy talks focused on providing direction to advance specific Western provinces/territories/states' energy co-operation proposals suggested at the 2001 meeting in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

They decided efforts should focus initially on sharing non-commercially confidential energy information within the region, specifically including:

  • Energy supply and demand;
  • Existing and proposed infrastructure;
  • Regulatory approvals and permitting;
  • Emerging/clean energy sources and technologies (e.g. Coal-Bed Methane, hydro, wind, ethanol); and
  • Greenhouse gas management and climate change strategies.

It was agreed that Governors attending the Dawson meeting would pursue these proposals with their colleagues at the Western Governors' Association annual meeting in Phoenix later this month. This could provide an important framework for strengthening co-operation between western U.S. and Mexican states and Canadian provinces and territories on continental energy issues.


For information, contact:

Andrea Buckley, Director of Communications
Executive Council Office
Government of Yukon
Tel.: (867) 667-5270
E-mail: andrea.buckley@gov.yk.ca