Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Chamber of Commerce officials reflected on the visit of Canadian Consul General Brandan Lee to Juneau last week while guests on Action Line Tuesday.
Chamber officials participated in a meeting with Lee.
Chamber past president Eric Eriksen said Lee is stationed in Seattle. "We learned that if he was stationed in a capital city that he would be an ambassador at an embassy so we proposed that maybe he consider moving to Juneau." Eriksen added that they aren't sure if Lee will take that suggestion under consideration.
The rebuild of the state's ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, was broached during the meeting. Eriksen said Lee had a unique perspective on the matter that was different from the perspective on this side of the border. "He was for development of projects, but there was some concern around the conditions that the U. S. had placed on it where there was a buy only American stipulation. Eriksen added that Canada took issue with building a project in Canada with American only materials.
Chamber Executive Director Craig Dahl pointed out that there are five contractors that bid on the project and they're all Canadian. One stipulation calls for the use of American steel. "I would say he was pretty blunt about that decision and offered the opportunity to apply to the U. S. Department of Commerce for a waiver." Dahl added that its important to move the project forward given its importance to the base line of the ferry system.
The chamber officials were asked if Transboundary water issues were brought up during that meeting. Dahl said it was certainly referenced, but he didn't think it was made a focus of the conversation. "He certainly was very much aware of all of the issues that impact especially given the fact that Alaska, Yukon Territory, and British Columbia share the same space."
Chamber President Richard Burns added that environmental issues were raised. "They went to great pains to explain that Canada's environmental record and the rules that they apply are quite stringent."