2008 Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Action Items
â€¢ The Agriculture working group will compile a summary of regional agriculture issues identified during the working group action strategy session and distribute to working group members to prioritize (high, medium and low). The working group will convene a conference call in the fall to discuss the high priority items and develop a strategy for the coming year, including identifying topics and agenda items for the Boise Summit, July 12-16, 2009.
â€¢ PNWER will partner with states and provinces to support the development of the 2nd Cross Border Animal Health Conference in Banff in April 2009.
PNWER endorses the below Border Charter. This living document will be updated to reflect current efforts underway and new policies impacting our shared border.
PNWER BORDER CHARTER
Canada and the United States of America enjoy a unique relationship based on geographical proximity, historical friendship, shared values, close alliance and family ties. The two countries are major commercial partners whose economies are integrally bound together in the worldâ€™s largest bilateral trading relationship. Ease of legitimate cross-border mobility has been vital to the unprecedented economic well being and safety of our citizens for more than a century. The 2010 Olympics are an unparalleled opportunity to leave a positive legacy, creating a new vision for a border that is protective and convenient, secure yet with a light footprint.
The border between Canada and the United States has historically been a model for other international boundaries in defending each nationâ€™s sovereignty and increasing mutual security while promoting frequent and friendly travel and trade. Canada and the United States are working together with Mexico to develop a vision of North America that is safe, prosperous, and globally competitive. North Americaâ€™s global competitiveness requires borders that work effectively and enable smooth and seamless flows of legitimate trade and travel. This is of particular importance for the Pacific Northwest, a region that is North Americaâ€™s Gateway to the thriving economies of the Asia Pacific region.
Businesses, professional associations and other stakeholders on both sides of the border have expressed serious concern with the increasing costs and delays associated with crossing the
Canada-U.S. border. More than 7 million jobs in the United States and 3 million jobs in Canada depend on the Canada-U.S. border working well. Communities on either side of the border have a strong interest in ensuring that the border remains open and convenient for legitimate trade and travel, as well as ensuring rapid cross-border mutual assistance in potential emergencies such as natural disasters, epidemics and other public health emergencies, or terrorist attacks.
The rich, intricate web of economic, social and educational exchange is nurtured by partnerships between public and private sectors at the national, regional and local level. U.S. states and Canadian provinces are actively engaged in promoting strong mutual economic, transportation and cultural connections for the prosperity of their residents.
Established at the behest of states and provinces sharing a common geographical and economic space, PNWER has been an indispensable bridge in building cross border cooperation vital to enhancing prosperity and security. It is in this spirit that the PNWER Border Charter is created.
PNWER is committed to ensuring that the border between Canada and the United States will once again become a model for the world for ease, convenience, and economic exchange. This is a vision of the Canada-United States border that will increase both security and prosperity for all our residents.
In support of this vision, PNWER endorses the specific recommendations of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on reducing border costs while strengthening security, put forward in their February 2008 report Finding the Balance: Reducing Border Costs While Strengthening Security.
2. Regional Leadership PNWER hereby establishes a Border Solutions Coordination Council (as called for by Members of Congress and border communities in the Pacific Northwest). The mandate for this forum is to:
â€¢ Provide consistent input on regional priorities from governments, stakeholders and border communities in the Pacific Northwest
â€¢ Help shape border security policy and implementation strategies
â€¢ Connect the federal governments in a systematic way with local impacts of border decisions
Possible members include:
â€¢ Ex officio: representatives from PNWER jurisdictions
â€¢ Ex officio: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
â€¢ Ex officio: Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)
â€¢ Private sector:
â€¢ Canadian American Business Council;
â€¢ Council of Tourism Associations of BC (COTA);
â€¢ BESTT Coalition;
â€¢ Canada-America Border Trade Alliance (Can-Am BTA)
â€¢ Regional experts
â€¢ Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) at Western Washington University
Additional information on shared border priorities will come from continued interaction with the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group (IPG) and border-gateway planning coalitions such as the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Project (IMTC)
The PNWER Border Solutions Coordination Council will be chaired by the PNWER President and will meet on a semi-annual basis.
The Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) will serve initially as the Secretariat for the PNWER Border Solutions Coordination Council.
3. Measuring Success
PNWER will clearly articulate these shared border priorities and monitor the activities of the two federal governments, as well as the governments of its member jurisdictions, in ensuring the needs of the region are fully taken into account in the development and implementation of border policies.
The U.S. and Canadian Chambers of Commerce have called on the two federal governments to â€˜establish goals and develop metrics to drive agency behaviour and priorities that demonstrate tangible benefits to program participantsâ€™ in trusted shipper programs and other frequent border users.
In order to ensure meaningful and consistent follow-up on these goals, PNWER will issue a State of the Border Report Card at its Annual Summit measuring the extent to which governments have acted on the regionâ€™s priorities.
4. Call for action
PNWER calls on the federal governments of Canada and the United States to undertake the following actions required for the Pacific Northwestâ€™s priority border management objectives, to be measured and reported in the annual State of the Border Report Card:
Objective 1: Ensure secure, convenient and welcoming border crossing experience for 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Measurement: Satisfaction levels among border users on convenience and service.
Possible solutions include:
â€¢ Integrated and tested plan for handling peak flow traffic at border crossings:
â€¢ Test programs designed to remove some regular regional traffic from the roadways during anticipated periods of peak Games-related activity, e.g. in summer 2009, when the Police Games coincide with the normal seasonal traffic peak and when mobility through the Peace Arch will be impaired
â€¢ Ensure that 10 U.S.-entry booths are available at the Peace Arch border crossing for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
â€¢ Super Host customer service workshops and training programs for customs and border officials dealing with Olympic border crossers, such as Tourism British Columbiaâ€™s World Host Ambassador Training workshop for delivering customer service during the 2010 Games.
â€¢ Pre-clearance program, designated special lanes and information for Olympics border crossers
â€¢ An advance-passenger manifest system for charter buses, smoothing passage in both directions through the border
â€¢ Dedicated lanes and a pool of booths for U.S. and Canadian citizens who tend to be cleared more rapidly than nationals of other countries
â€¢ Provide Olympics ticket purchasers with information package on transportation options, documentation requirements, and online Advanced Traveller Information System (ATIS) website links
Objective 2: Reduce congestion and streamline flows of legitimate trade and travel
Measurement: Median clearance times per traveller.
Possible solutions include:
â€¢ Reduced wait and processing times through:
o Increased staffing levels and traffic capacity
o More use of technology for pre-clearance and processing prior to physical arrival at the border
o Streaming traffic requiring additional service (e.g. immigration, vehicle imports, customs fees)
o Implement an online system to streamline declaration of customs and duty payments for tourist travel, reducing delays at primary and secondary inspection spaces
o Baggage by-pass (eliminating duplication in customs and security screening) for air passengers making domestic and international connections across the Canada-US border.
â€¢ Better signage directing traffic towards less congested border crossings and lanes
â€¢ The existing technology supporting the Cascade Gateway Advance Traveler Information System (ATIS) must be brought back online as soon as possible
â€¢o Expand ATIS to all four Cascade Gateway ports (i.e., adding Lynden, Sumas), for both passenger and commercial traffic. Information would be displayed online, as well as on a larger set of Variable Message Signs (VMS).
â€¢ Customs pre-clearance for Amtrak train service between Vancouver and Seattle
â€¢ Increased use of truck pre-clearance and electronic seals
o Fund data collection study to investigate e-manifest effectiveness and consider CBSA e-manifest program similar to US CBP program at Pacific Highway crossing
â€¢ Improved procedures for frequent business travellers
â€¢ Greater clarity and streamlined procedures, including fact sheets that provide clear instructions on how and where to submit applications and forms
â€¢ Combined NEXUS and TN-1 Visas for professionals and technical specialists on short-term cross-border work assignments, enabling multiple employment contracts through a pre-registration program
â€¢ Ombudsperson to handle business traveler issues and review denials
â€¢ Automated remote border processing for corporate jets, using customs resources more effectively and stimulating additional traffic at community airports.
Objective 3: increase outreach and expansion of frequent border crossing programs to improve security by focusing resources on higher-risk traffic.
Measurement: Ratio of resources freed to examine higher-risk goods and people.
Possible solutions include:
â€¢ Smooth implementation and expansion of enhanced driversâ€™ license initiatives
â€¢ Identify potential solutions to facilitate faster border crossing for holders of Enhanced Drivers Licences.
â€¢ Consideration of EDL as meeting identity document requirements for air travel in North America
â€¢ Increased use of Nexus cards through expansion of the bi-national program, designated flexible lanes, and improved value for participants through integration with other low-risk, voluntary travel initiatives
â€¢ Develop targeted NEXUS marketing program aimed at frequent border crossers in Surrey and Bellingham who have not yet joined the program
â€¢ Increase NEXUS throughout at the Pacific Highway crossing by increasing the hours of staffing and installing signage and lane markings that better help travelers approach the NEXUS booths.
â€¢ Continuous communication campaign on document requirements in partnership with tourism industry, border communities and regional organizations.
â€¢ Track development of national policy in both Canada and US
â€¢ PNWER encourages BC to share the Smart-tech program with interested jurisdiction as a best practice
â€¢ PNWER encourages member jurisdictions to structure research on CCS to allow and encourage appropriate sharing of information between jurisdictions
â€¢ PNWER encourages institutions in the region to collaborate on a GIS mapping of climate change adaptation strategies, specifically examining a potential water vulnerability assessment examining the availability of water resources.
â€¢ PNWER endorses the establishment of a Pacific Northwest Border Health Alliance to coordinate health preparedness across the region. This innovative agreement between the PNWER jurisdictions is intended to allow the region to respond to surge capacity demands on health systems and health resources efficiently and in a cost effective manner when public health emergencies arise in any PNWER jurisdiction. The arrangement also allows states-provinces to assess current and explore future areas of operational responsibility that could result in efficiencies when providing health services.
â€¢ The PNWER Healthcare working group will work with government and industry partners to prepare a comparative report card on public health statistics and an inventory of healthy public policies across the PNWER region. These findings will be distributed in the PNWER Healthcare Update (newsletter) and posted on the website.
â€¢ PNWER will partner with the Institute of Health Economics to develop a forum on telehealth technology involving public sector partners, researchers, and private industry to address barriers to the implementation of new technology options in this area.
â€¢ PNWER will explore establishing a Health Evidence Network in the PNWER region beginning with developing an inventory of existing health evidence centers. Working group members will work to reach out to these centers to encourage the sharing of best practices in the comparative effectiveness of health technologies and services.
Innovation (PNWER should seek funding and project leads for the following)
â€¢ Inventory core research competencies of the regionâ€™s universities to identify meaningful collaboration opportunities;
â€¢ Convene discussions among the regionâ€™s universities regarding student exchange and transferability of academic credit;
â€¢ Identify current global innovation initiatives of universities, particularly those focused on Asia-Pacific with the intent to develop regional best practices;
â€¢ Create an inventory of best practices for institutions to anticipate and meet industryâ€™s demand for individuals to fill roles in the innovation economy.
Explore the creation of an industry-driven investment fund that would support cross-border R&D collaboration
Ocean and River Energy
Subject to funding, PNWER should work with stakeholders to: (no obligation of any jurisdiction to provide staff/resources)
â€¢ Assess the velocity and energy potential of freshwater resources in the PNWER region, working with public water officials.
â€¢ Bring utility interests together in order to develop a shared knowledge base of challenges facing hydrokinetic development (possible topic of PNWER Winter Meeting)
â€¢ Review incentives for local, state, provincial and federal funding on both sides of the border regarding development of the hydrokinetic industry
â€¢ Create an understandable and comprehensive checklist of permitting issues.
â€¢ Execution of regulatory requirement reviews (as has been proposed to NRCan and DOE).
â€¢ Bring together regional experience to indentify the aspects of ocean energy development which fall within the existing experience base and permitting of marine works and operations (i.e. cable laying, interconnections).
â€¢ Continue to build the awareness of the need for market mechanism to pull ocean energy to provide energy, economic and environmental opportunity for the PNW
(i.e. resource specific RFP, feed-in tariff).
â€¢ Creation of a pacific coast utility alliance with a goal to meet formally this fall â€“ investigate project collaboration opportunities, knowledge sharing mechanisms
â€¢ and mechanisms to ensure that project memories are incorporated into a broader sector memory. Investigation of an emerging energy pathway to incorporate ocean energy into acquisition planning along side formal IRP (LTAP) processes.
â€¢ Continue to use the Pacific Ocean Energy Network as a means to share information and learning experiences.
â€¢ PNWER will continue to coordinate the development of a regional media strategy, through a process of collaboration and facilitation, with content creation the responsibility of the member jurisdictions and their partners.
â€¢ PNWER will support the further exploration of the Cascadia Commons project through the facilitation of meetings with key stakeholders and potential sponsors.
â€¢ PNWER will establish an online collaborative group to support the distribution of Olympic related information from Tourism Vancouver, the Four Host First Nations and other Olympics related organizations to PNWERs member states and provinces.
â€¢ PNWER will call together private sector tourism operators and their representatives by fall 2008 on a conference call/meeting, to identify border issues that are affecting international leisure and business travel.
â€¢ PNWER will be available to facilitate information exchange on sustainability practices between tourism organizations in the region.
â€¢ Results and recommended solutions from the PNWER Labour mobility study will be presented to Human Resources and Social Development Canada. As a part of this process PNWER will identify stakeholders to assist with solutions implementation.
â€¢ The PNWER Water Working Group will partner with the Water Research Institute in Edmonton to find similarly focused state and provincial water research/policy organizations to begin to collaborate on a regional level. The first step in this process will be to develop an inventory of contacts from regional water organizations and invite these key stakeholders to an initial conference call/coordination meeting in the next 6-9 months. PNWER will also reach out to the Western Governorâ€™s Association and British Columbia to coordinate on current water issues.
Private Sector Representation on PNWER Executive Committee
â€¢ One representative shall be selected from each PNWER jurisdiction to represent the private sector on the PNWER Executive Committee
â€¢ Appointments shall be for a two year renewable term.
â€¢ Appointees shall be expected to have broad general knowledge of and represent the interests of the overall private sector and shall not represent any particular interest group, constituency or position
â€¢ Representatives shall be expected to be available for bi-weekly teleconference of the Executive Committee; for periodic teleconferences or meetings of the Private Sector Council; and to attend the Annual Summit and Winter Meeting of PNWER
â€¢ Representatives should have the ability to mobilize other private sector participants and generally foster enhanced involvement in and support for PNWER activities
â€¢ Representatives will be expected to enjoy the support, both morally and financially, of their employer/organization for their involvement in PNWER at this level.
Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) 2200 Alaskan Way, Suite 460, Seattle, WA 98121 Phone: 206.443.7723, Fax: 206.4443.7703