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Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas,
Canadian Ambassador to Discuss Recovery

By Sasha Sutcliffe-Stephenson, CSG International Program Director
The U.S., Canada and Mexico enjoy an unparalleled economic relationship that supports millions of jobs in each country. As North America emerges from the economic downturn, recovery depends on leaders engaging with neighboring friends, allies and trading partners, both domestic and international.
The Council of State Governments will provide the opportunity to do just that. The 2010 Economic Summit of the States will feature an internationally focused breakout session, “A North American Future: Promoting Growth through Cross-Border Cooperation,” from 12:30 to  2 p.m. Saturday, May 22. The session, featuring both domestic and international perspectives on the Northern and Southern borders, will focus on strategies for a North American economic recovery.
The panel will kick off with an overview of various perspectives from both domestic and international leaders—including Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas—focusing on strategies for a North American economic recovery. After that, audience members will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in an open dialogue to discuss these challenges and work together to identify steps states can take to build momentum moving forward.
Drawing on his experience as premier of Manitoba, a post he held for 10 years before being appointed ambassador in 2009, Doer is attuned to the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship at the state and provincial level. He worked with U.S. governors during his time as premier to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy.
Douglas also knows the importance of working with Canadian neighbors when it comes to economic recovery. In March Douglas received the National Order of Québec, becoming only the fourth American and first U.S. public official to receive the award, according to a press release. It honors Douglas’ work in strengthening the Québec-Vermont relationship throughout his career in public service, according to a press release from Douglas’ office.
“Quebec and Vermont share many things; our history, our culture and our economic well-being,” Douglas said in receiving the award. “The people of Vermont, like Quebec, are confronting many challenges—from a global recession that has touched the lives of our families and friends on both sides of the border to environmental threats that know no boundaries.”
CSG’s Economic Summit of the States is designed to provide state government leaders with vital information and strategies on how to lead their respective states through these turbulent economic times. In addition to the keynote addresses of communications professional Frank Luntz, crisis communications consultant Vincent Covello, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and economist Arthur Laffer, the summit will also feature several panel discussions composed of state leaders in addition to 10 topical breakouts sessions.


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