N.W.T. joins cross-border Pacific-Northwest group
The Northwest Territories is joining a cross-border group of five U.S. states and three Canadian provinces and territories seeking to promote global economic competitiveness in the region. N.W.T. premier Floyd Roland is in Boise, Idaho to accept the territory’s new membership in the Pacific Northwest Economic Forum. Current members include Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. The area covered by member jurisdictions is home to more than 20 million people and boasts a gross regional product of more than $820 billion.
Speaking at the meeting, Roland touted his territory’s mineral wealth as well as its abundance of energy resources. On Tuesday, leaders at the conference suggested that growing security measures at the U.S.-Canadian border were excessive and beginning to impair trade.
Hog answers soon: Minister
The federal government will soon respond to a request from beleaguered Canadian hog producers for help in restructuring their operations or exiting the industry, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Wednesday. “I can tell you we are having day-to-day discussions with the Canadian Pork Council. We’re very, very close, and as soon as we have something we’ll give you a shout,” Ritz told reporters following a speech in Winnipeg to the Canadian Special Crops Association convention. The hog industry has been beset with problems ranging from overproduction and unfavourable exchange rates to high feed costs and the fallout from the outbreak of H1N1 flu, also called the swine flu, although it is not spread through pork consumption. The industry has asked government for up to $1 billion in loans to help producers adjust to the new economic realities. Recently, the pork industry proposed a five-year plan guiding it through the next five years. It’s expecting a response from Ritz soon.