Pacific Northwest leaders gather in Whistler 

Border restrictions, technology, Olympics, on agenda

More than 25 politicians, bureaucrats, academics and business leaders are gathering in Whistler this week to talk about sustainability in a time of transportation, technology and tourism growth.

Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s annual summit includes Washington and Oregon state representatives, as well as Yukon and B.C. government ministers and port authority presidents at the largely closed-door forum to be held at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Whistler’s Mayor, Ken Melamed, will be the keynote speaker at the Nov. 9 opening breakfast of the three-day summit, talking about Whistler’s plan for a sustainable 2010 Winter Games.

Local MLA Joan McIntyre and Minister of Environment Barry Penner will join VANOC’S Linda Coady and Globe Foundation CEO Frank Crane to discuss how best to showcase western sustainability efforts during the Olympics.

Two discussions will focus on the Pacific Gateway project, the province’s hot button transportation initiatives and how to develop a dual strategy in the Pacific Northwest.

Both Oregon and Washington will provide four-panel roundtable sessions focused on how new technologies, such as telecom enhancements impact business, and updates on the new border crossing requirements. Public is welcome at the latter session that begins at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9.

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