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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Canadian gov’t decision to waive border clearance fee

For Immediate Release: October 14, 2010

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the Canadian Border Services Agency decision to continue to waive a border clearance fee on Amtrak’s second train from Seattle to British Columbia:

“This is great news for Washington state and British Columbia – especially for the businesses that have benefited from the increase in trade the second train has generated.

“B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and I have worked shoulder to shoulder with our local mayors, elected officials and business leaders to ensure the second line continues. I’m proud of our work to convince the Canadian government to reconsider its decision in light of the importance of this train to our economic recovery. I made our case to Canada’s Consul General Denis Stevens and Ambassadors Gary Doer and David Jacobson. I also secured the assistance of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in this effort.

“I applaud the work of our Congressional delegation, including Senator Patty Murray and Representative Rick Larson for their efforts to secure this second line, and I thank the federal officials on both sides of the border for listening to our concerns. Today, I spoke again to Secretary Napolitano and am proud she went to bat for our state.

“I’m thrilled the Canadian government understood the economic risks that losing this second train would have created. Along with Premier Campbell, we have worked hard to promote a two-nation vacation – and our efforts have paid off. Since the initiation of the second train, tourism spending has increased significantly on both sides of the border. At the same time we’ve been successful in removing thousands of passengers from our roads – easing congestion at our border crossings and decreasing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our relationship with British Columbia is an excellent one and I look forward to developing even more ideas to help grow the economies of both Washington state and British Columbia.”