Havre Daily News
A state legislator from Havre has been appointed to a board charged with improving Montana-Canadian relations.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Tuesday announced the appointment of state Rep. John Musgrove, D-Havre, to the Montana-Canadian Provinces Relations Advisory Council.
Musgrove joins five other legislators on the council, which will meet with Canadian officials at least once a year to discuss agriculture, livestock, law enforcement, emergency preparedness and international water issues.
Musgrove this morning said the communication between Montana and Canadian provinces is vital.
“The major issues are probably going to be water, energy and mineral extraction,” he said. “Those will be our early primary talking points. We're just making sure we're good neighbors.
“We have more similarities with the provinces than we do with the eastern states that border us. So, we have to make sure that we can get along,” Musgrove added.
The new council is virtually the same as the previous council, to which he was appointed by then-Gov. Judy Martz, Musgrove said.
Schweitzer wants to broaden the spectrum and resolve issues that affect the state and the three provinces it borders: Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
“Each of three provinces that border us have signed a cooperative order of sorts calling for the government to government relations,” Schweitzer's appointments coordinator, Patty Keebler, said Tuesday.
Keebler said the governor chose Musgrove because he was from a town close to the Canadian border.
“Representative Musgrove had been on the predecessor of this council, the Montana-Alberta Advisory Council,” she said. “Musgrove went to Alberta and Saskatchewan as part of a legislative delegation previously, so he's obviously interested in the relations.”
Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger will chair the council. The other members of the council will be Sen. Trudi Schmidt of Great Falls, Sen. Sam Kitzenberg of Glasgow, Rep. Wayne Stahl of Saco and Rep. Hal Jacobson of Helena.