Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
It is surprising to learn that fourthgraders at Sunnyside Middle School know quite a bit about the neighboring country Canada, including the number of provinces it has (10 provinces, three territories), the language (French and English) and other historical and government facts that the average American may not be aware of. This was all taken in by the government of Canada’s Consulate General staff members who traveled to the middle school, high school and Rotary Club to give Eagles and Beaver’ presentations to Havre students with lessons comparing the two countries. These presentations were part of an effort organized by the Havre Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Consulate on Thursday that concluded with a reception at the Vineyard Lounge in the Duck Inn that evening. The visit was a stepping stone to build on the existing friendship between the two countries and an opportunity for political and business leaders to meet Canadian government representatives and discuss opportunities for enhancing cross border collaborations. Consul General Mark Boucher of Canada’s general relations office in Denver brought forth a message that the relationship between Canada and the United States is about neighbors trying to work together while respecting security at the border. “Canada is the United States’ and Montana’s principal ally and key contributor to North American trade prosperity and energy and border security,” Boucher said. “We look forward to helping to maintain and support this unique and prosperous bilateral relationship, which we believe is in the best interest of communities on both sides of our shared border.” According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the two countries enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world with a total trade value of more than $500 million in 2004. The reports released by AAFC also show that Canada continually remains the largest buyer of U.S. agriculture exports in the world, boasting sales over $12 billion in 2005. Over the past five years, Canada has been the leading foreign supplier of oil to the United States including both crude and refined oil products a total of $2.6 billion, a study released by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade reported. Complementary trade between the two countries has resulted in enormous expansion on cross-border activity to keep consumers and producers provided with goods and services. Opening the port of entry at Wild Horse would only enhance that expansion and the results of this visit will be forwarded to government officials in Ottawa to assist in the endeavors. “While the 24 hour opening is still in the final stages with homeland security, this reception is an outreach of hands across the border’ to maintain our friendship,” Mayor Bob Rice said of the two countries meeting. Rice will meet with a Canadian group on March 21 to prepare for a presentation on the extended opening of the Wild horse port to Homeland Security that has yet to be scheduled. The government representation of Canada Consul office in Denver spans a four-state region of the Rocky Mountains including Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming and can be reached at (303) 626-0670. Rice can be reached at 265-6710.