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Alaska Showcased at 2010 Winter Olympics

(JUNEAU) - Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, represented Alaska at the Feb. 22 Border Symposium in Vancouver, B.C., hosted by the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). Policymakers from the US and Canada across state, provincial, federal and private sectors will discuss principles for a long term shared vision of the US - Canada border. Alaska will also be showcased at a media event and reception highlighting Pacific Northwest tourism and athletes.

"The US - Canada border is not just the Forty-Ninth Parallel, but also the tremendous border Alaska shares with British Columbia and the Yukon," said Senator Lesil McGuire. "Alaska is connected to the rest of our nation through Canada and as Alaska's third-largest trading partner we know how important having a border that enhances commerce and tourism is." In 2008, Alaska bought $441 million USD worth of goods from Canada and Alaska's export market to Canada was worth about $370 million USD.

The symposium will focus on two questions: "What should the border look and act like in 10 years?" and "How can we measure success?" The discussions will be the first step in helping provide insight to both Washington, D.C., and Ottawa.

Senator McGuire pointed out that, "the Department of Homeland Security is working on a 'Northern Border Strategy' and PNWER has been asked to provide a list of recommendations based on lessons learned over five years of preparation for the 2010 Olympics and today's symposium."

PNWER hosted a Pacific Northwest Tourism and Athlete Showcase with assistance from the Alaska Travel Industry Association and other state and provincial tourism departments. Among the highlights were Alaskan snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Lieutenant Governor Craig Campbell, John Binkley of the Alaska Cruise Association, Alaska Coho salmon, and the Alaskan Brewing Company.  This event will bring attention to the wonderful state of Alaska and all it has to offer to tourists: National Parks, Northern Lights, salmon, glaciers and the Iditarod.

Senator McGuire is the president of PNWER, a US-Canadian forum dedicated to encouraging regional global economic competitiveness and preserving our world-class natural environment. 

For more information, contact Senator McGuire or Esther Cha at 907-465-2995.

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