Thursday AM February 5th, 2009

Three Canadian premiers are visiting Houston to discuss trade, energy and the economy. Ed Mayberry reports.

image of houston oil barrel

The Greater Houston Partnership hosted the premiers of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta at the Intercontinental Hotel to discuss opportunities in energy and ways to better compete in the global economy.  The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan also discussed energy at Rice University.  Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall says his province is one of the top oil-producing regions in North America, and also a top producer of uranium.

“And we also have roughly 23 per cent of the world’s uranium production.  Nuclear power’s important in Texas as well, and so there’s a lot of easy linkages, but ones we need to work.  In Saskatchewan, our province, our government has to do a better job of getting out what is a compelling story about opportunity and a chance to partner with places like the Greater Houston area and Texas in general.”

Ed: “What would you like to see happen as a result of your trip?”

“Well, I’d like to, frankly, have this build into a more long-term relationship.  There’s a lot of common ground between our two jurisdictions, and frankly, we’d like to do a little business!” 

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is here for a couple of reasons, including help ensure that trade barriers are not put in place. 

“Keep working on the relationships we’ve built, and add to them in terms of ensuring that our federal governments don’t impose some sort of arbitrary trade restrictions, because it’s working well for both jurisdictions.  And as I mentioned earlier this morning, it’s all about quality of life.  Quality of life is having a job, feeding your family and contributing to society.  And trade gives us that opportunity.”

Alberta produces about 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, mostly exported to the United States, and supplies the majority of natural gas consumed in the U.S.  No other state or country exports more to the three Canadian provinces than Texas. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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