Premier John Horgan has a particularly close relationship with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.
On Thursday (February 7), the B.C. leader will travel to Seattle and Olympia for what will be the fourth meeting with the U.S. politician in his 18 months in office.
The two-day trip will include speaking engagements and meetings with government and businesses leaders in Washington State, including tech giant Microsoft and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He will also give a formal address to the Washington State legislature.
The premier’s is indicative of the B.C.’s government’s efforts to develop the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Named for the strip of land that runs from the south of Oregon into Washington State and up the west coast of British Columbia, the economic hotspot comprises Canada and America’s fastest growing economies. Tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, SAP, and Hootsuite all call the region home, with a number of companies setting up new offices on both sides of the border.
Both governor Inslee and premier Horgan have created policies that will better link the region, and help its tech industries and trade to flourish. Much of that work is paying off. Washington now exports more to B.C. than it does to all other provinces combined, and if Washington was a country, it would represent B.C.’s third largest international export market. As of 2018, British Columbia’s exports to Washington are nearly equal to the value of all the province’s exports to China.
Connectivity has also improved over the past few years, with the establishment of a seaplane service between Seattle and Vancouver, which remains a popular mode of transport for businesspeople. In addition, a feasibility study into setting up an ultra-high-speed rail line between Oregon and B.C. has begun with backing from Microsoft, and is expected to conclude in June.
During the pair’s last meeting in October, the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding that they would act together to fight climate change, commit to bettering connectivity and transportation links, and create good jobs for citizens on both sides of the border.
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