Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/17/2011 10:15 AM ECON. DEV., TRADE & TOURISM

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10:23:03 AM Start
10:24:02 AM HJR15
10:50:14 AM Presentation: "canada and Alaska: Partnership for Growth"
11:24:38 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHJR 15(EDT) Out of Committee
+ Presentation: "Canada and Alaska: Partnership for TELECONFERENCED
Growth," by Canadian Consul General Denis Stevens
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
 HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INTERNATIONAL                                                               
                       TRADE AND TOURISM                                                                                      
                         March 17, 2011                                                                                         
                           10:23 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Bob Herron, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz                                                                                             
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15                                                                                                   
Relating to collaboration with the Yukon and the Northwest                                                                      
Territories through the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region and                                                                   
its Arctic Caucus to address common issues.                                                                                     
     - MOVED CSHJR 15(EDT) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
PRESENTATION: "CANADA AND ALASKA: PARTNERSHIP FOR GROWTH"                                                                       
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HJR 15                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT ARCTIC CAUCUS                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HERRON                                                                                            
02/02/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/02/11       (H)       EDT                                                                                                    
02/22/11       (H)       EDT AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
02/22/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/11       (H)       MINUTE(EDT)                                                                                            
03/17/11       (H)       EDT AT 10:15 AM BARNES 124                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
STEPHEN ROSE, Director of Policy and Planning                                                                                   
Department of Economic Development                                                                                              
Government of Yukon Territory                                                                                                   
Whitehorse, Yukon                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 15.                                                                          
KEVIN TODD, Director of Investment and Economic Analysis                                                                        
Government of Northwest Territories                                                                                             
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 15.                                                                          
SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Described  her experience with  the Pacific                                                             
NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER).                                                                                              
DENIS STEVENS, Consul General                                                                                                   
Consulate General of Canada                                                                                                     
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified during  the hearing  on HJR  15;                                                             
provided a  PowerPoint presentation  titled, "Canada  and Alaska:                                                               
Partners for Growth.                                                                                                            
JENNIFER LOTEN, Consul                                                                                                          
Consulate General of Canada                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions during  the presentation                                                             
titled, "Canada and Alaska: Partners for Growth."                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
10:23:03 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR BOB HERRON  called the House Special  Committee on Economic                                                             
Development, International Trade and  Tourism meeting to order at                                                               
10:23  a.m.     Representatives  Herron,  Keller,   Olson,  Tuck,                                                               
Gardner,  and  Thompson  were  present  at  the  call  to  order.                                                               
Representative Pruitt and Senator McGuire were also present.                                                                    
                  HJR 15-SUPPORT ARCTIC CAUCUS                                                                              
10:24:02 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 15,  Relating to  collaboration with                                                               
the  Yukon  and the  Northwest  Territories  through the  Pacific                                                               
NorthWest  Economic  Region  and  its Arctic  Caucus  to  address                                                               
common issues.                                                                                                                  
10:25:45 AM                                                                                                                   
STEPHEN  ROSE, Director  of Policy  and  Planning, Department  of                                                               
Economic  Development, Government  of Yukon  Territory, said  the                                                               
Government  of Yukon  Territory (YT)  sees the  Pacific NorthWest                                                               
Economic  Region  (PNWER)  and  its Arctic  Caucus  as  important                                                               
mechanisms  for  collaboration  in   pursuing  common  goals  and                                                               
objections for Alaska  and YT; in fact,  YT government's Minister                                                               
of Economic Development is very  supportive of PNWER and has been                                                               
very  active in  PNWER  over  the past  several  years.   The  YT                                                               
government supports  the passing  of HJR 15  in order  to advance                                                               
discussion, networking,  and collaboration within  PNWER's Arctic                                                               
Caucus,  and to  promote a  pan-northern approach  to Alaska  and                                                               
YT's respective federal governments.   Yukon Territory and Alaska                                                               
have  a long  history as  trade  partners and  have an  extremely                                                               
close  relationship  historically,  socially,  and  economically;                                                               
their economies  are interlinked, as Yukoners  and Alaskans cross                                                               
the border  each way for  goods, services, work,  and recreation.                                                               
This  resolution  will  enhance  the  collaboration  between  the                                                               
respective jurisdictions  and create a stronger  alliance through                                                               
which  to  pursue  the  common  goals  of  the  regions.    Yukon                                                               
Territory  forms the  corridor  between Alaska  and  the rest  of                                                               
North   America,   and  therefore   shares   a   number  of   key                                                               
infrastructure  priorities,  including  the development  of  port                                                               
access,   highway  systems,   alternative  energy   sources,  and                                                               
telecommunications  services,  and  PNWER provides  a  forum  for                                                               
addressing  these  shared interests.    The  Arctic Caucus  is  a                                                               
unique approach and  has great potential to  benefit those living                                                               
and  working  in the  North,  and  who  are dealing  with  issues                                                               
surrounding  cold  climate,  remoteness,   and  the  need  for  a                                                               
sustainable  economy  through  investment in  transportation  and                                                               
communication   infrastructure.     Yukon  Territory   government                                                               
projections  indicate  that  its   population  and  economy  will                                                               
continue to grow,  furthering its need to develop  and maintain a                                                               
strong and competitive infrastructure  to meet these projections.                                                               
Yukon  Territory's  all-weather  road   system  is  connected  to                                                               
Alaska,  Alberta,  British  Columbia,   and  NWT,  and  leads  to                                                               
tidewater access through  Alaska, which is a  prerequisite to the                                                               
viability   of  many   resource  development   projects  in   the                                                               
territory.   Yukon Territory government  is participating  in the                                                               
development of the  Yukon Ports Access Strategy  with the Skagway                                                               
Port Development Committee, and believes  this to be an important                                                               
step towards  meeting YT's commitment to  secure tidewater access                                                               
to the  Asian market in  support of  its resource industry.   The                                                               
Alaska  Highway  is  a  fine  example  of  shared  transportation                                                               
infrastructure,  as it  is a  Canada/U.S.  collaboration, and  of                                                               
critical  importance  to  each  of  their  jurisdictions.    This                                                               
highway enables year-round  tourism and commercial transportation                                                               
to  Alaska,   and  provides   critical  logistical   support  for                                                               
construction  and  operation  of   the  proposed  Alaska  Highway                                                               
Natural Gas  Transmission System to transport  Alaska North Slope                                                               
gas to  the mainland United  States.  Yukon  Territory government                                                               
is also  committed to expanding  YT's energy  infrastructure that                                                               
will provide an energy alternative  to Yukoners, and also provide                                                               
mine  sites  with lower-costing  green  energy  that will  reduce                                                               
reliance on  diesel power.   The Alaska Highway  Pipeline Project                                                               
(AHPP) will  provide options for gas-fired  electrical generation                                                               
which would remove current  constraints to electrical generation.                                                               
Expanding its  energy infrastructure  remains a priority  for the                                                               
YT government, and  will lead to the  sustainable development and                                                               
competitiveness  of the  PNWER region.   Access  to reliable  and                                                               
affordable  telecommunication   services  is   another  important                                                               
infrastructure  component for  those  living and  working in  the                                                               
Arctic  regions.    This  access  is  provided  through  a  2,000                                                               
kilometer  fiber  optic  link between  Whitehorse  and  Edmonton,                                                               
Alberta, completed in  August 2009.  Unfortunately  this fiber is                                                               
vulnerable to breach or impairment  by human activity and natural                                                               
events.   The YT government  is looking  to build a  second fiber                                                               
optic link  to the  south that would  enable an  almost immediate                                                               
switch-over of  voice and  data traffic,  with no  degradation in                                                               
service,   thus  improving   the   level   of  availability   and                                                               
reliability to institutions, businesses,  and consumers.  Some of                                                               
the  routes being  considered  for the  second  fiber optic  link                                                               
would pass  through the State  of Alaska.   Telecommunications is                                                               
an area of  interest for PNWER, and YT continues  to move forward                                                               
on improving this  important aspect of infrastructure.   Mr. Rose                                                               
said  he   appreciated  the  opportunity   to  be  part   of  the                                                               
committee's  discussion  on  this   resolution.    Promoting  and                                                               
communicating a harmonized message  detailing the common needs of                                                               
the Arctic Caucus is important to the welfare of Alaska and YT.                                                                 
10:31:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HERRON  noted the  many  treaties  and agreements  between                                                               
Canada and the U.S., beginning with  the first in 1873.  He asked                                                               
how the  resolution will help  the two countries move  forward in                                                               
the Arctic region.                                                                                                              
10:32:26 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ROSE opined  agreements that  encourage communication  allow                                                               
for additional focus on common issues.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked whether  education  is  a subject  of                                                               
common interest.                                                                                                                
MR. ROSE  said education has  always been  of interest to  YT; in                                                               
fact, YT  takes part in  Arctic discussions with  the university,                                                               
and would be very supportive of interaction in that area.                                                                       
10:33:42 AM                                                                                                                   
KEVIN  TODD,  Director  of   Investment  and  Economic  Analysis,                                                               
Government  of   Northwest  Territories  (NWT),  stated   he  was                                                               
representing the  Minister of Industry, Tourism,  and Investment,                                                               
Government of NWT, and expressed  his government's support of HJR
15.   The Arctic  Caucus allows  Alaska, YT,  and NWT  to discuss                                                               
northern  issues and  present a  unified Arctic  voice.   It also                                                               
provides a forum  for the three governments  to share information                                                               
and develop  regional policies related  to the Arctic  and Arctic                                                               
development,  and  for coordination  of  federal  policies.   The                                                               
opportunity  to share  information  and discuss  areas of  mutual                                                               
concern is valuable in the  unique North; furthermore, presenting                                                               
a  unified front  between Alaska  and  NWT allows  them to  raise                                                               
their  collective  profile within  PNWER  and  with both  federal                                                               
governments.   The first  Arctic Caucus forum  held in  Barrow in                                                               
December   2010,  covered   common   issues   such  as   northern                                                               
development,  infrastructure,  search  and  rescue,  and  tourism                                                               
promotion.   As a  result, an Arctic  partnership for  growth has                                                               
been created  between Canada and  Alaska.  Mr. Todd  restated his                                                               
government's  support for  HJR  15, which  he  said will  promote                                                               
greater    regional   collaboration,    enhance   domestic    and                                                               
international markets,  leverage regional influence,  and achieve                                                               
continued economic growth while  maintaining the region's natural                                                               
beauty and environment.                                                                                                         
10:36:34 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON understood a second  Arctic Caucus meeting will take                                                               
place in Yellowknife in August.                                                                                                 
10:38:01 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked whether  the  government  of NWT  has                                                               
introduced or passed a similar resolution.                                                                                      
MR. TODD said  he was unsure about a  formal resolution; however,                                                               
the  Arctic Caucus  has  been discussed  by  the legislature  and                                                               
there is strong  support from government officials.   In response                                                               
to Chair Herron,  he said the Arctic Caucus meeting  will be held                                                               
around August 19, 2011.                                                                                                         
10:40:47 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE informed the  committee that she and others                                                               
have been working  with PNWER for over a decade  in order to grow                                                               
the partnership  between Canada and  Alaska.  It is  fortunate to                                                               
"live right next  door" to another government  that shares valued                                                               
aspects such as democracy, rights  for women, the equality of all                                                               
people, the  development of resources, and  challenges with their                                                               
respective  federal governments.   She  thanked Chair  Herron for                                                               
his leadership at the first  Arctic Caucus meeting in Barrow, and                                                               
spoke of the  residual effects of that meeting.   Senator McGuire                                                               
stated her  support for HJR  15, and noted  that a copy  has been                                                               
provided to the U.S. Department of  State.  She opined the Arctic                                                               
Council and  the Arctic Caucus  are opportunities to  balance the                                                               
sensitivities  of the  indigenous  population, whale  migrations,                                                               
and development.                                                                                                                
10:43:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON  declared the  Arctic Caucus  came about  because of                                                               
the leadership of Senator McGuire.                                                                                              
CHAIR HERRON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
10:44:11 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK turned  attention to page 2, line  12, of the                                                               
resolution  and asked  Senator McGuire  whether the  challenge of                                                               
providing  an adequate  education is  missing from  "the list  of                                                               
common problems."                                                                                                               
SENATOR  MCGUIRE acknowledged  that many  issues were  brought up                                                               
through PNWER,  including "access  to education."   She suggested                                                               
that the committee  could add access to education to  the list of                                                               
challenges  on  page 2,  lines  12-18,  because the  delivery  of                                                               
distance education is a problem common to both governments.                                                                     
CHAIR  HERRON  advised  that  a  conceptual  amendment  would  be                                                               
10:46:07 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  urged  the  addition  of  "and  workforce                                                               
development,"  to the  conceptual  amendment  because PNWER  also                                                               
recognizes this  as a common problem,  and it is closely  tied to                                                               
CHAIR  HERRON  surmised  a  conceptual  amendment  could  include                                                               
education and workforce development.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK agreed.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER asked  whether  a  representative of  the                                                               
Canadian  government  would  confirm  that  providing  access  to                                                               
education and workforce development are  issues for YT and NWT as                                                               
10:47:26 AM                                                                                                                   
DENIS  STEVENS,  Consul  General, Consulate  General  of  Canada,                                                               
confirmed that  those are issues  that are very important  to the                                                               
people  in  the  northern   territories  and  their  governments.                                                               
Although  the federal  government of  Canada is  not a  member of                                                               
PNWER,  it takes  a great  interest in  its proceedings,  and Mr.                                                               
Stevens attends PNWER meetings as an observer.                                                                                  
CHAIR HERRON also  noted that the Northern Waters  Task Force has                                                               
addressed  the issue  of  marine  pilots.   He  suggested that  a                                                               
conceptual amendment  could include "jurisdictional  licensing of                                                               
marine pilots in their respective countries."                                                                                   
10:50:02 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  OLSON  moved  to   report  HJR  15,  Version  27-                                                               
LS0477\M,   as  amended,   out  of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations  and the  accompanying zero  fiscal note.   There                                                               
being no  objection, CSHJR  15(EDT) was  reported from  the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Economic Development,  International Trade                                                               
and Tourism.                                                                                                                    
^Presentation: "Canada and Alaska: Partnership for Growth"                                                                      
   Presentation: "Canada and Alaska: Partnership for Growth"                                                                
10:50:14 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  a  presentation  by Canadian  Consul  General  Denis  Stevens                                                               
titled, "Canada and Alaska:  Partners for Growth."                                                                              
10:50:40 AM                                                                                                                   
DENIS  STEVENS,  Consul  General, Consulate  General  of  Canada,                                                               
advised that  Canada and  Alaska enjoy  an economic,  energy, and                                                               
security  partnership  that  is  grounded in  shared  values  and                                                               
friendship.   This partnership  is very  important to  Canada and                                                               
grows  increasingly important  to Canada  and the  U.S. with  the                                                               
complicated  world  challenges  of   today.    For  example,  the                                                               
economic downturn has  had profound effects on  residents of both                                                               
countries, especially in the  manufacturing and resource sectors.                                                               
The emergence of competition from  other parts of the world means                                                               
Canada  and  the  U.S.  need to  stimulate  economic  growth  and                                                               
promote  job creation  as partners;  however, these  changes must                                                               
occur while  maintaining a  safe and secure  North America.   Mr.                                                               
Stevens continued to explain that  Canada and the U.S. also share                                                               
membership in  multilateral economic and  political organizations                                                               
such as  the United Nations  (UN), the  Group of Eight  (G8), the                                                               
North  Atlantic  Treaty  Organization  (NATO),  and  world  trade                                                               
organizations  which  are  mechanisms  that  help  the  countries                                                               
respond to current and future  global challenges.  Turning to the                                                               
subject of trade,  he stated Canada is the largest  buyer of U.S.                                                               
goods and this exchange of trade  supports over 8 million jobs in                                                               
the U.S.  Approximately 1  million Canadians are employed by U.S.                                                               
companies, and  approximately 557,000  Americans are  employed by                                                               
Canadian  companies.    These affiliations  create  efficiencies,                                                               
save costs, and account for 30  percent of the bilateral trade in                                                               
goods.   Canada  and the  U.S.  are each  other's most  important                                                               
energy partners, and  trade oil, natural gas,  and electricity in                                                               
an  environmentally  responsible  and  secure  manner;  in  fact,                                                               
Canada is the largest supplier of imported oil to the U.S.                                                                      
10:57:25 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  STEVENS then  focused his  discussion on  Alaska, and  noted                                                               
that  about  3,500  jobs  in Alaska  are  supported  by  Canadian                                                               
companies;  furthermore, 5,000  Alaskans are  indirectly employed                                                               
by  Canadians.    The  overall   value  of  Canada  and  Alaska's                                                               
bilateral trade  is $866 million  as of  2009, making a  total of                                                               
24,000  Alaska   jobs  dependent   on  the   Canada-Alaska  trade                                                               
relationship,  mostly in  the fields  of oil,  gas, and  tourism.                                                               
Most of the jobs related to  Canada's economy are in oil and gas,                                                               
mining,  retail,  transportation,  and  tourism.    In  addition,                                                               
Canada is  Alaska's fourth largest  export market, with  a "huge"                                                               
potential for future growth.   Currently, the largest percentages                                                               
of Alaska's exports  to Canada are in ore  concentrates, and fish                                                               
and seafood.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   asked  whether  ore   concentrates  are                                                               
exported for processing.                                                                                                        
10:59:58 AM                                                                                                                   
JENNIFER LOTEN, Consul, Consulate General of Canada, said no.                                                                   
11:00:09 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  MCGUIRE requested  that Mr.  Stevens provide  a list  of                                                               
recommendations on what  the legislature can do  to improve trade                                                               
between Canada and Alaska.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  HERRON   recognized  Ms.  Loten's  contributions   to  the                                                               
consulate general in Anchorage.                                                                                                 
11:01:30 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  STEVENS agreed  that  the consulate  staff  in Anchorage  is                                                               
dynamic and effective.   He returned to the subject  of jobs, and                                                               
pointed  out that  the jobs  supported by  trade with  Canada are                                                               
often in  rural and remote communities,  and involve partnerships                                                               
with  Native  corporations and  local  government.   Fishing  and                                                               
mining jobs have had a positive  impact on all regions of Alaska;                                                               
in fact,  Canada is Alaska's  largest partner in mining,  as last                                                               
year Canadian mining companies spent  $163 million on exploration                                                               
and $300 million on development.   During the period between 1981                                                               
and 2008,  Canadian companies spent  $3.9 billion  in exploration                                                               
and  development, which  was  70  percent of  all  of the  mining                                                               
expenditures  in  Alaska.   Mr.  Stevens  observed that  Canadian                                                               
mining companies are committed to  working with local populations                                                               
to  ensure  environmentally  responsible development  around  the                                                               
11:04:16 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  said the  ore storage  buildings at  the Red                                                               
Dog Mine are the largest such facilities in the state.                                                                          
MR. STEVENS stated that the Red  Dog Mine is the largest employer                                                               
in the  Northwest Arctic Borough,  and paid taxes to  the borough                                                               
in the  amount of $6.7  million in 2010.   The mine is  an active                                                               
part  of community  life in  Kotzebue and  provides training  and                                                               
mentorship for youth, and steady  employment.  The Fort Knox gold                                                               
mine  paid  $4.6  million  in property  taxes  to  the  Fairbanks                                                               
Northstar  Borough  in  2010; in  addition,  the  mine  purchases                                                               
electric  power, which  lowers  the rates  for  consumers in  the                                                               
Fairbanks area.   He stated that future mining  in Western Alaska                                                               
is expected in  the Donlin Creek area.   Canada strengthens other                                                               
sectors of  Alaska's economy  by importing  $86 million  worth of                                                               
seafood and  investing in  the industry.    In  the manufacturing                                                               
sector,  he pointed  out  that companies  such  as Capitol  Glass                                                               
Northerm Windows and the Alaska  Commercial Company are Canadian-                                                               
owned.   Finally, Alaska's tourism  industry is linked  to Canada                                                               
by  cruise  ship traffic,  the  Alaska  Highway, and  the  Alaska                                                               
Marine  Highway System  (AMHS);  as a  matter  of fact,  Canadian                                                               
visitors to Alaska  spent over $75 million in 2009.   Mr. Stevens                                                               
displayed  a  map  that  showed  the  common  boundaries  between                                                               
Alaska, British Columbia (BC), Canada,  and Yukon Territory (YT),                                                               
Canada,  and  described  the  transportation  links  that  travel                                                               
across the adjacent land.                                                                                                       
11:09:25 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  STEVENS advised  that  the Arctic  is  rapidly changing  and                                                               
Canada  looks  forward  to  exploring  with  the  U.S.  safe  and                                                               
sustainable  transit of  the Arctic  waters, in  addition to  its                                                               
plans to establish a deep-water  fuel and docking facility in the                                                               
high Arctic.   He opined it is important for  the Arctic partners                                                               
to  continue  with  the  recommendations  of  the  Arctic  Marine                                                               
Shipping  Assessment  by the  Arctic  Council  on how  to  manage                                                               
Arctic waterways and the movement  of vessels in the high Arctic.                                                               
The far  north is part of  Canada's heritage and its  future, and                                                               
its  government recognizes  the opportunities  and challenges  of                                                               
northern  issues.    Canada has  a  comprehensive  Arctic  policy                                                               
framework  that  consists  of   two  components:    the  Northern                                                               
Strategy  establishes the  basis for  Canada's engagement  in the                                                               
north  and for  a  dynamic and  sustainable  economy; the  Arctic                                                               
Foreign  Policy  recognizes  that  the  U.S.  is  Canada's  major                                                               
partner  in the  region.   The Arctic  Foreign Policy  also makes                                                               
explicit Canada's  commitment to  its international  partners for                                                               
advancement  of the  region in  economic and  social development.                                                               
Mr. Stevens  observed that Alaska's investment  in infrastructure                                                               
in the north will strengthen  Alaska's role.  Furthermore, Canada                                                               
is  looking  forward to  working  with  Alaska to  advance  their                                                               
shared objectives  in the  Arctic, and  he stressed  that PNWER's                                                               
Arctic Caucus  is a welcome  forum for  the exchange of  ideas in                                                               
the north,  as is the  Northern Waters  Task Force.   During this                                                               
period  of global  uncertainty, the  relationship between  Canada                                                               
and Alaska  is the foundation  for strengthening  both countries.                                                               
In fact, the Canadian and  U.S. federal governments have promised                                                               
to work together  on the Beyond the Border  initiative to enhance                                                               
common  security,  while  accelerating  the  flow  of  goods  and                                                               
services between  the two  countries.   He referred  to important                                                               
past  agreements and  efforts to  pursue  future links  regarding                                                               
border  security;  in  fact,  300,000  people  cross  the  border                                                               
between the  U.S. and  Canada every  day.   Mr. Stevens  spoke of                                                               
Canada's long  and valued relationship  with the U.S.,  and noted                                                               
that  the  consulate  general  in  Anchorage  has  been  a  fixed                                                               
presence in Alaska since 2004.                                                                                                  
11:15:45 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked  whether mining  at  the  proposed                                                               
Niblack  mine  on Prince  of  Wales  Island includes  rare  earth                                                               
MS. LOTEN  advised that  the mine is  in its  development stages,                                                               
therefore, the details are closely held.                                                                                        
11:16:30 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked   whether  the  Canadian  National                                                               
Railway (CN) Aqua Train takes passengers.                                                                                       
MR. STEVENS said he didn't believe so.                                                                                          
11:16:55 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  observed the U.S.  does not have  a self-                                                               
image  as  an  Arctic  nation, and  asked  whether  the  Canadian                                                               
northern  communities   raise  the   issues  of   their  economic                                                               
development.   Alaska is often  explaining its different  needs -                                                               
such  as   education  requirements,   mail  delivery   to  remote                                                               
communities, and permitting problems  - to its federal government                                                               
and the nation.                                                                                                                 
11:18:08 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. STEVENS responded  that Canada is large country  with a small                                                               
population,  and  each  province  and territory  feels  that  the                                                               
federal  government  does  not understand  all  of  the  distinct                                                               
realities  of  each area.    However,  the  north  is a  part  of                                                               
Canada's  identity and  the government  is  aware that  Canadians                                                               
care about the  northern areas; in fact, northern  leaders have a                                                               
prominent voice in the national discussion.                                                                                     
11:19:21 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  LOTEN agreed  that Canadians  understand that  the north  is                                                               
part  of what  their nation  is, even  though this  understanding                                                               
does not  mean that the  federal government, which is  located in                                                               
the  southernmost   area  of  Canada,   always  knows   what  the                                                               
differences  between north  and south  imply.   Another important                                                               
difference  with  Alaska is  that  Canada  has three  leaders  to                                                               
represent  the  perspective of  the  northern  regions, thus  the                                                               
north does  not stand alone, as  in Alaska.    She concluded that                                                               
the  North in  Canada is  better  represented, in  addition to  a                                                               
public perception of inclusion and priority.                                                                                    
11:21:05 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON  recalled his experience  at the Arctic Caucus.   He                                                               
observed that  Alaska and Canada  are intricately  connected, and                                                               
benefit from their close relationship.                                                                                          
11:24:38 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Economic Development,  International Trade                                                               
and Tourism meeting was adjourned at 11:24 a.m.                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 15 - Alaska Arctic Caucus - PNWER.pdf HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
HJR 15 - Arctic Caucus Proceedings.pdf HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
HJR 15 - LG testimony 2.22.11.docx HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
HJR 15 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
Canadian Consul General Denis Stevens Bio.doc HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
EDT - Consul Stevens Presentation - Canada and Alaska Partners for Growth (3.16.11).pdf HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15 - Fiscal Note (Zero).pdf HEDT 3/17/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15