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Major economic summit to be held in Whistler next week

PNWER returns to resort for first time since 2001

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More than 500 leaders in government, business and academia from both the northwest United States and Western Canada will gather here at the 24th Annual Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) Summit, July 20 - 24.

The last time Whistler hosted the summit was in 2001. That conference brought about 700 delegates to the resort along with over 100 extra police officers and about the same number of protestors.

But the RCMP doesn't expect any problems next week.

"We will ensure that adequate resources are in place,' said Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair.

Canada's ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, GE Canada CEO Elyse Allen, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock are among the over 150 speakers who will address the delegates from around the region during the four-day summit.

Opportunities for discussion and recommended joint actions at the summit will include: an overview of natural gas export opportunities from B.C., Alaska and Oregon; transportation challenges of market access, issues of rail safety, greening the supply chain, oil spill preparedness across our shared coasts, ocean policy, energy efficiency, invasive species, tourism, water policy, arctic issues and a Columbia River Treaty Symposium.

"The summit will be an unparalleled opportunity for government and community leaders from the 10 states, provinces, and territories," states a press release on the event.

At the summit, participants meet in "working groups" to develop action items on policy issues.

PNWER is a public/private non-profit created by statute in 1991 with the stated mission to increase the economic well being and quality of life for all citizens of the region; identify and promote "models of success," and serve as a conduit to exchange information.

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