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PNWER: Corporate Cascadian Seperatism?

Here are the first in a series of articles on the strange corporate dominated government sanctioned entity that is PNWER.
TI: SIMPLE LOGIC: WHEN A GROUP OF WESTERN PROVINCES
AND
STATES DISCUSS INDEPENDENCE, THEY'RE TALKING PROFIT,
NOT
POLITICS
BY: Patrick Nagle; Southam News
PN: The-Calgary-Herald
SO: The Calgary Herald, June 19, 1994, Final Edition,
p.B1.
PT: News
SH: Pulse
SS: Southam-News
SB: Illustrated
PD: 940619
NT: Illustration note: Graphic Included, Map
LN: Short
LP: CALGARY
FT: CALGARY

While the Quebec separatist movement works its way
noisily through
the national political system, the notion of economic
independence
is quietly infiltrating Western Canada.

There is none of the inflammatory rhetoric of
independence attached
to the rising agitation in the West for a regional,
rather than a
national, perspective on future development.

The voice is a reasoned appeal to business logic: It
just makes
more sense to do business on the Pacific side of the
continent than
on the Atlantic side.

This view has given life to the concept of northwest
economic
regionalism, usually thought of under the rubric of
Cascadia, which
includes Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, B.C.,
Alberta, Yukon
and Alaska.

In western Canada, there is a growing sense that
Ottawa is missing
the boat in its Asia-Pacific policy and both
politicians and
businessmen condemn what they call a lack of
foresight.

``In economic terms, and this is perhaps the most
politically
sensitive area, we do share the sense that our
respective national
capitals (Ottawa and Washington) aren't really in tune
with what is
going on on the West Coast and around the Pacific
Rim,'' says Alan
Artibise, a professor on leave from the University of
B.C.

``When viewed from a global perspective, the Cascadia
region is one
that has to co-operate if we're going to thrive in the
global
economy,'' comments Artibise, who heads the
International Centre for
Sustainable Cities, a non-governmental study group.

Quebec independence, it should be noted, is nowhere to
be seen on
the agenda of the annual three-day summer meeting of
the Pacific
Northwest Economic Region, in Kananaskis, 100
kilometres west of
Calgary, starting today.

PNWER, pronounced Penwar by its enthusiasts, started
as a loosely
tied cross-border group representing related economic
sectors such
as tourism, telecommunications and environmental
management.

The association now has an executive secretariat, a
well-connected
Canadian advocate in Jim Horsman, a former Alberta
justice minister,
and a growing momentum toward regional alliances.

It embodies exactly the kind of post-Quebec
independence
preparedness that separatist leader Lucien Bouchard is
reported to
have warned Canadian businessmen about during a recent
secret
meeting in Ottawa.

The national unity debate has no real resonance in a
west where
B.C. Premier Mike Harcourt speaks for many when he
says his province
doesn't want to leave Canada - it just wants to be
left alone.

In recent months, Harcourt has told anyone who will
listen that
Ontario will not dominate B.C. if Quebec separates
because the two
provinces have little in common outside a united
Canada.

The same feeling of angry isolation from the
policy-making centre
reverberates through the northwestern United States.

``Neither Canada nor the United States has a process
or even a
strategy to address the issues facing the Pacific
northwest - even
within their narrow domestic responsibilities,'' notes
Vancouver
publisher Charles Kelly, an outspoken supporter of a
stronger
western economic development.

Premiers and governors are equally aware of this
vacuum and are
busily investigating co-operative ventures for their
mutual benefit
that have nothing to do with their centralized federal
governments.

There is no denying the strong influence economic
relationships
have on politicians and elected western Canadian
voices are
demanding a more intensive Pacific trade policy.

Separated from PENWER by its non-political, academic
mandate, the
Cascadia Institute and its U.S. counterpart, the
Discovery
Institute, both are investigating the economics of a
geographical
area called the Georgia Basin, the westernmost regions
of North
America.

Academics and businessmen associated with the two
think tanks
regard California as a spent economic force now that
the U.S.
defence industry is being decommissioned.

The intention of the Georgia Basin studies is to
provide a
framework for knowledgeable government decision-making
predicated on
saving environmental qualities and lifestyle values in
Oregon,
Washington and B.C.

As the U.S. partner in the Georgia Basin concept, the
Discovery
Institute took some care to shield itself from
Manifest Destiny
charges.

``There is no desire to unify the region politically,
nor to
homogenize the historic cultures of either Canada or
the U.S.,'' the
Discovery Institute said in a published editorial.

``What inspires (us) is not a marriage, but a
partnership - the
result of strengthening friendship, economic and
environmental
ties.''

CASCADIA PROFILE

Canada's latest unity debate has given new life to the
concept of
Cascadia , a proposed regional econonmic alliance
which includes
Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, B.C., Alberta,
Yukon, and
Alaska. The region has a total population of
16,215,000 people.

Alaska .......................... 570,000

Yukon ............................ 30,395

British Columbia .... 3,282,061

Alberta ....................... 2,545,553

Washington ............... 5,018,000

Montana ...................... 808,000

Oregon ......................... 2,922,000

Idaho ............................ 1,039,000

PAUL PERREAULT/Southam News Graphic


Copyright The Calgary Herald 1994 All Rights Reserved.
UD: 940619
AN: CH9406190051TI: NORTHWEST LEADERS TALK ECONOMY
BY: Sheldon Alberts
PN: The-Calgary-Herald
SO: The Calgary Herald, June 21, 1994, Final Edition,
p.B1.
PT: News
SH: City and Life
PD: 940621
LN: Short
LP: KANANASKIS COUNTRY -- It's been sometimes called
``Cascadia''
-- and if you listen to some people, it's got
everything a nation
might need.
FT: KANANASKIS COUNTRY -- It's been sometimes called
``Cascadia''
-- and if you listen to some people, it's got
everything a nation
might need.

The region -- comprising Alberta,

B. C. and the five northwesternmost American states --
is linked by
common geography. Its gross regional product totals
more than $350
billion. And someone's even dreamed up its very own
flag.

But political leaders attending a regional economic
conference
stressed Monday they're working only for a better
economic union,
not a political one.

``Some people refer to this as Cascadia, this new
region . . . but
nobody is suggesting that we are a nation, or that we
should become
one,'' said Premier Ralph Klein on the opening day of
a conference
for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER).

``We are neighbors and neighbors do not live in each
other's house
or try to run each other's households, but there is
much we can do
together as neighbors to improve our (economic)
performance.''

Klein joined more than 125 government and private
sector delegates
focusing on ways to strengthen north-south economic
ties by reducing
trade barriers within the region.

More ambitiously, it's trying to develop plans to
market the area's
common products and assets -- such as tourism and
environmental
technology -- to the Asian Pacific Rim.

Washington state Gov. Mike Lowry said Canada's western
provinces
need to join with their American counterparts to
pursue business
opportunities independently from federal governments.

``While we have the greatest love for our two great
nations, and
the absolute respect for the national governments of
our two great
nations, the simple fact of the matter is that we have
much more in
common here in the northwest together than we have
with our capitals
back on the east coast,'' Lowry said.

Though Klein and Lowry were careful to steer clear of
talk about a
potential political union, PNWER does play a
quasi-political role in
promoting the region.

``If this region were a single entity, we would be the
ninth
largest economy in the world,'' Alan Bluechel, a
Washington state
senator and PNWER's president, said of the the
five-year-old group.

``From a practical standpoint, the goals of PNWER are
for the
public sector to open the door so that the private
sector can make
the sale.''

The conference's organizers have been careful to steer
clear of
controversial issues plaguing freer trade within the
Cascadia region
-- including ongoing disputes on softwood lumber, the
salmon fishery
and exports of durum wheat to the U.S. Instead,
they're focusing on
the positives.

Klein said it makes more sense, for example, for
Alberta to market
its tourism industry with northwest American states
than Canadian
provinces in the east. ``What I'm saying is that we
can sell these
things together,'' said Klein. ``We can say, come here
and enjoy
these beautiful mountains, enjoy a clean outdoors,
enjoy provinces
and states that are environmentally aware.''

Jim Horsman, Alberta's former deputy premier and now
chair of
PNWER's private sector council, said the rest of
Canada is dragging
its heels in promoting trade with the Pacific Rim. So
Alberta's got
to look south for partners, he said.

``Unless we take advantage of all this opportunity . .
. we're
going to miss the boat,'' Horsman said.


Copyright The Calgary Herald 1994 All Rights Reserved.
UD: 940621
AN: CH9406210051TI: OBSTACLES BLOCK TRADE GROUP
BY: Sheldon Alberts
PN: The-Calgary-Herald
SO: The Calgary Herald, June 22, 1994, Final Edition,
p.C2.
PT: News
SH: Business
PD: 940622
LN: Short
LP: Efforts to create transborder group thwarted by
Ottawa,
Washington
FT: Efforts to create transborder group thwarted by
Ottawa,
Washington

KANANASKIS COUNTRY -- If you could trade optimism on
the world
market, delegates to the Pacific Northwest Economic
Region
conference would have made a pile of money in the last
two days.

But following meetings that featured plenty of talk
about common
goals, even the most energetic promoters of closer
economic ties
within the so-called Cascadia region said Tuesday it's
going to take
years to pull off.

Historic trade disputes within the region, problems
with air and
ground transportation and federal government
bureaucracies are just
some of the obstacles still preventing a successful
union, said
delegates.

``We have enough muscle to be a major player in the
global economy,
but we can't do it all at once,'' said Washington
state senator Alan
Bluechel, the president of PNWER.

Bluechel was one of about 125 delegates who came to
K-Country to
bat around ideas on how to improve economic ties
between Alberta,
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana
and Alaska.

Cascadia is the name most commonly attached to the
region, in
reference to the Cascade Mountains.

While regional political leaders agreed to unite and
market
internationally the region's strengths in industries
like tourism
and environmental technology, they also complained
that federal
government bureaucracies in both countries are
preventing the
Cascadia region from achieving its goals.

``The federal governments aren't talking to one
another,'' said
Dave Coutts, the Klein government's representative on
PNWER's
executive.

Coutts and Bluechel urged the Canadian and American
governments to
restart negotiations to improve air travel within the
western
region.

``The problem is that nobody is paying any attention
to the West,''
said Bluechel. ``They're all concerned about their
convenience in
flying Ottawa to Washington.''

Bluechel said air connections between Alberta and the
Pacific
Northwest are terrible -- and inter-region business is
suffering
because of it.

``When Calgary wants to get to Bozeman (Montana), you
have go to
Salt Lake City, then Denver before you can get
there,'' Bluechel
said.

Though some delegates said they want the Canadian and
U.S.
northwest to become a borderless trade region, one
conference
delegate said closer ties within Cascadia won't be
possible until
historic trade disputes over products like wheat,
lumber and fish
are resolved.

The PNWER conference ``doesn't attack some of the key
problems
underlying all of this,'' said Douglas Jackson, a
Canadian Studies
professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.
``They're not
tackling those issues at all.''

Marian Robson, director of the nonprofit Cascadia
Institute,
acknowledged PNWER still has a lot of problems to
overcome before
they can truly co-operate. Individual governments are
too used to
competing against each other and promoting their own
interests.

``We haven't even touched the surface of how we could
do more
things, more co-operatively, even between British
Columbia and
Alberta, let alone between Canadian provinces and U.S.
states,''
said Robson.

The success of PNWER in the future, says Bluechel,
depends on the
ability of its member governments and business to see
beyond the
issues that divide them.

``In the states and provinces of the Pacific
Northwest, the natural
flow of trade is not east-west, but north-south,'' he
said.

Economist David Elton, president of the Calgary-based
Canada West
Foundation, applauds the idea of a regional alliance
-- both to
improve trade within the area and abroad. But he said
Albertans
dreaming of a Cascadian economic utopia shouldn't get
ahead of
themselves.

``We shouldn't expect too many big things from them
too quickly.
There are a lot of barriers there.''


Copyright The Calgary Herald 1994 All Rights Reserved.
UD: 940622
AN: CH9406220094

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homepage: homepage: http://www.resistpnwer.org

PROTESTS IN WHISTLER HAVE BEEN CANCELLED! 25.Jul.2001 16:43

Trevor

Just to let you guys know that on the Vancouver web site as well as the seattle web site - the protests planned for this week up in Whistler, Canada have been cancelled!

Don't know why.

Perhaps they cancelled their meetings!

take care and the Canadians apologise for the short notice!

PROTEST STILL ON, CANCELLATION IS A BIG FAT L 26.Jul.2001 11:20

CITIZEN OF THE STATE OF OREGON

vancouver imc- as of thursday morning, 9:30am- reports that the protest are still on. cancelation of protest has been posted by various chuckleheads for the past 2 weeks. come to whistler bc this sat. see www.resistpnwer for the real news. also check out the pnwer web site, very informative.