May 15, 2006
Premier pleased with
progress made at 30th Annual New England Governors
The 30th Annual New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference (NEG-ECP) held in Newport, Rhode Island was a successful weekend of building upon previous work of the premiers and governors and setting the agenda for future collaboration said Premier Danny Williams.
"This year�s conference was an opportunity to build upon the strong relationships forged in St. John�s last year and I was pleased to meet with the members of NEG-ECP again this year on issues of mutual importance to our respective jurisdictions," said Premier Danny Williams. "Our province has developed valuable working relationships with members of NEG-ECP, particularly our relationship with host state Rhode Island and Governor Carcieri. We are collaborating on important oceans initiatives, and again this year we participated in a successful trade and technology mission, including 10 Newfoundland and Labrador companies."
Energy, oceans and trade were the primary focus of this year�s conference. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to build a reputation as an energy warehouse, and is increasingly expanding its international reputation as a leader in marine management and technology. Premier Williams discussed both of these issues, among others, with his colleagues.
"We listened to some fascinating presentations on many topics, from industry leaders and top government officials," said Premier Williams. "In turn, I was able to share with the presenters and with my colleagues all of the significant things happening in our province. It was a wonderful opportunity to provide an update on the actions we have taken as a government and to discuss future partnerships. I was encouraged by the keen interest shown in what our province has to offer, particularly our capacity to supply hydro power and natural gas. I also updated the participants on our plans to develop the Lower Churchill, progress on our energy plan and prospects for future gas development."
The premier said he looks forward to strengthening current relationships, and continuing to develop strong and effective partnerships based on the resolutions which resulted from the NEG-ECP. The New England States are the province�s largest trading partner and there are natural synergies in many areas upon which the province hopes to build. "This province has so much to offer and opportunities to share this with political leaders, in addition to the industry leaders who were in attendance at NEG-ECP, is critical if we are to move forward with our agenda for growth and prosperity."
Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEREAS,at the 29 the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) held in St. John�s,
Newfoundland and Labrador, the governors of New England formed a Northeast Regional Oceans Committee (NROC); and
WHEREAS, the premiers of the Eastern Canadian provinces joined the governors in making a similar commitment to collectively work together with the NROC to advance regional oceans issues; and
WHEREAS, the NEG/ECP formed an Oceans Working Committee consisting of the NROC and appropriate representatives of the Eastern Canadian provinces and were tasked to: (i) foster international cooperation and collaboration on all aspects of marine and oceans-related research and development, education, exploration, observation, and oceans management; (ii) facilitate information exchange; (iii) seek partnerships and synergies to facilitate existing initiatives such as the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and encourage new initiatives and partnership; (iv) address related environmental issues; and (v) provide a vehicle for cooperation on all aspects of oceans management; and
WHEREAS, the NROC and the Canadian representatives of the NEG/ECP Oceans Working Group continue to meet with their respective states and provinces to finalize prioritization of regional issues for the councils to address.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THATthe Oceans Working Committee will focus its efforts in the short term on finalizing prioritization of regional issues for the councils to address including those related to;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthat the Oceans Working Committee will develop a long-term strategy to explore regional governance issues, such as:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe members of the Oceans Working Committee will work cooperatively with federal agencies to formulate a regional ocean plan and implementation strategy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe Oceans Working Committee report back to the next meeting of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers on the status of these initiatives.
Adopted at the 30th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, Newport, Rhode Island May 12, 2006.
WHEREAS, the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers has historically worked to promote reliable, secure and cost-effective energy supplies for the region; and
WHEREAS, the New England States and Eastern Canadian provinces have closely cooperated on energy matters in the past, and wish to reinforce and expand their joint efforts to resolve energy issues in the region; and
WHEREAS, the region�s energy portfolio has a significant impact on the region�s greenhouse gas emissions, and the energy choices made will play a critical role in meeting the greenhouse gas reduction targets adopted by the NEGC and ECP; and
WHEREAS, electricity generated using renewable sources of energy like hydro and wind power have the potential to offer a major contribution in mitigating the growth of the region�s consumption of fossil fuels, thus facilitating the achievement of greenhouse gas emissions targets; and
WHEREAS, energy is a fundamental component to the future prosperity and overall competitiveness of the region; and
WHEREAS, the already significant use of natural gas in our region is anticipated to increase in the next five to ten years, and the expansion of the region�s energy supply options and delivery infrastructure for natural gas will be required to meet this growing natural gas demand on a timely basis; and
WHEREAS, the need for reliable and economic solutions to natural gas supply issues can most effectively be resolved through joint regional planning and cooperation and addressing existing barriers; and
WHEREAS,there are concerns about a reliable energy supply in the region and opportunities exist to reduce demand through increased energy efficiency measures; and
WHEREAS, considerable opportunities exist to promote energy security through diversification of our fuel mix and an increased focus on renewable sources; and
WHEREAS,the NEG/ECP region needs to have a broad and varied approach for addressing future gas markets in the northeast, including both supply and demand responses; and
WHEREAS, the Northeast International Committee on Energy (NICE) was established in 1978 to monitor and act upon common energy issues, including natural gas developments, and resource and infrastructure development, in the northeast region; and
WHEREAS, the NICE conducted a highly successful Energy Dialogue in March 2006 in Providence, Rhode Island to bring together energy decision-makers and industry officials to address the natural gas markets and infrastructural needs in our region.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THATthe Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, will seek to mitigate future growth in electric energy demand through energy efficiency and demand response; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, set a goal of increasing the amount of new renewable generation in the region by at least 10% by 2020 and task its NICE committee to work on assessing the region�s portfolio of renewable resources and potential; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe NICE committee continue its Energy Dialogue forum in the coming year by hosting a symposium on renewable energy and energy efficiency options in New England and Eastern Canada; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATa ministerial-level forum of energy and environment policymaking officials appointed by the governors and premiers be convened to develop protocols, structures and mechanisms for addressing energy issues on a regional level, including but not limited to trade, transmission, infrastructure expansion, renewables, conservation, energy efficiency, environment and alternative sources of energy, and report back with recommendations for action; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe NICE committee create a Regional Energy Portfolio Workgroup that would focus on promoting fuel diversity in the region and report back to the 31st NEG/ECP Conference with recommendations for consideration by governors and premiers.
Adopted at the 30th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, Newport, Rhode Island May 13, 2006.
WHEREAS, the cooperation between the governments of Canada and the United States and regionally, between the governments of New England and Eastern Canada ensures our continued good relations to embrace enhanced cross-border security initiatives essential to continuing and increasing our exchange of goods and services; and
WHEREAS, for each New England state and the region as a whole Canada represents the largest trading partner, with bilateral trade valued at CAD$25 billion in 2005 between New England and Canada, and an estimated 280,000 jobs in New England are supported by trade with Canada; and
WHEREAS,in March, 2005 the leaders of the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico established the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), an unprecedented example of continental cooperation over a wide variety of subject areas, focusing on security and prosperity (trade), and subsequently, the promulgation of SPP action plans that will fundamentally influence our cross-border trading relationships; and
WHEREAS, at the 29th Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers and pursuant to Resolution 29-1, the governments of Canada and the United States were informed that while governors and premiers support the objective of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), it is important to involve the states and provinces in the preparation of measures to support the SPP; and
WHEREAS, at the 29th Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers and pursuant to Resolution 29-1, the Standing Committee on Trade Cooperation was tasked to prepare a draft action plan aimed at strengthening cooperation between the members of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in areas targeted by the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Resolution 29-1, the Standing Committee on Trade Cooperation met January 12, 2006 in Boston, and reviewed the preliminary report on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), prepared by Quebec, and have incorporated this work into the preparation of a draft regional action plan aimed at strengthening cooperation between the members of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in areas targeted by the SPP; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THATthe Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers mandate the Standing Committee on Trade Cooperation to implement the Committee�s 2006 work plan to enhance trade relationships between states and provinces, and most particularly and as a priority, to mandate the Committee to complete the document entitled Regional Action Plan on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and report back to the next meeting of the Conference on the progress made in implementing this regional plan.
Adopted at the 30th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, Newport, Rhode Island, May 13, 2006.
WHEREAS,the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) is a vital regional forum for cooperation in areas related to security and economic development in the northeastern part of the continent; and
WHEREAS,the NEG/ECP is continuously seeking ways to strengthen its cooperation in order to ensure the security of all citizens of Canada and the United States and to enhance their economic competitiveness, particularly in the light of the new continental security context and extensive transborder economic integration; and
WHEREAS,the NEG/ECP fully recognizes that security is a prerequisite for trade and that transborder security must remain a priority for all governments in Canada and the United States; and
WHEREAS,the Canada-United States border relationship is unique with more than 300,000 business people, tourists and regular commuters traveling between Canada and the United States every day, and more than $1.1 billion in two-way trade each day; and
WHEREAS,the New England states and Eastern Canadian provinces have a common interest in maintaining a secure and open border between Canada and the United States; and
WHEREAS,on September 1, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State confirmed their intention to implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which will require all U.S. and Canadian citizens to have a passport or other accepted secure document that establishes the bearer�s identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States by January 1, 2008; and
WHEREAS,under the current WHTI proposal, this requirement will apply to all air and sea travel to or from Canada beginning on December 31, 2006, and will be extended to all U.S.-Canada land border crossings after December 31, 2007; and
WHEREAS,the NEG/ECP supports the underlying objectives of the WHTI, namely those related to enhancing security and harmonizing identity document standards between Canada and the United States; and
WHEREAS,the WHTI, as currently outlined, will negatively impact trade, tourism, and the daily lives of citizens in border communities; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 12866 gives the Office of Management and Budget the mandate to review individual regulations and policies developed by federal agencies - including Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, and the authority to designate individual regulations as significant regulatory action and to request that the Federal agency responsible for a significant regulatory action conduct a thorough impact study of said regulation;
WHEREAS, Section 3.f.1 of Executive Order 12866 defines as significant regulatory action any regulation which has "an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or tribal governments and communities"; and
WHEREAS,on August 29, 2005, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Governor of Rhode Island, as Co-Chairs of the NEG/ECP, and on behalf of their fellow premiers and governors, wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to encourage the U.S. Government to adopt a flexible and reasonable approach in implementing the WHTI which would meet security imperatives while minimizing the negative impact on border crossings by legitimate travelers; and
WHEREAS,numerous governors, premiers, U.S. and Canadian legislators, and bi-national regional forums, including the Council of State Governments� Eastern Regional Conference, have expressed similar views with regard to the WHTI; and
WHEREAS,the NEG/ECP recognizes that border communities, and business, travel and tourism industries have expressed legitimate concerns about the implementation of the WHTI;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THATthe Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) request the United States Government, following the Regulatory Planning and Review process outlined in Executive Order 12866, to conduct an economic and social analysis of the anticipated impact of WHTI on cross-border trade, tourism and local community activities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDTHATNEG/ECP urges the United States Government and the Government of Canada to fully explore, in close consultation with states and provinces, options with regard to the implementation of the WHTI, including timelines, terms, technologies, transition measures and alternative identity documentation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATthe NEG/ECP undertake an active campaign coordinated with other interested parties and organizations to urge Congress to delay the implementation of the WHTI; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDTHATNEG/ECP further urges the United States Government to revise the terms of the implementation of the WHTI, based on the findings of the analyses, and in collaboration with the Government of Canada, states and provinces, to ensure that the border between Canada and the United States remains secure and open; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDTHATNEG/ECP encourages all governments to pursue collaborative actions at the local, regional and national levels to minimize the impact that the WHTI will have on travelers, communities, tourism and industries; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDTHATthe NEG/ECP direct the Standing Committee on Trade Cooperation to investigate the anticipated impacts of the implementation of the WHTI on the region and to explore the development of possible joint mitigation efforts and report the Committee�s progress back to governors and premiers for the 2007 meeting of the Conference.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDTHATNEG/ECP shall continue to exchange information, on an on-going basis on their respective positions with regard to the WHTI and, when appropriate, on other transborder security issues; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THATa copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Canada, the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the respective U.S. and Canadian Ambassadors, members of the National Governors Association and of the Canadian Council of the Federation, and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Homeland Security Committee, the House International Relations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, and members of the Congressional delegation for the New England states.
Adopted at the 30th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, Newport, Rhode Island May 13, 2006.
2006 05 15 2:35 p.m.
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