June 7, 2004

BC, Alberta sign five interprovincial co-operation agreements

PRINCE RUPERT, BC-Senior ministers from British Columbia and Alberta concluded their second joint cabinet meeting by signing five agreements which will:

provide mutual assistance, services and resources in health care during public health emergencies or natural disasters;

harmonize regulations in the oil and gas sector;

increase environmental cooperation and harmonization;

lead to enhanced trade, investment and labour mobility between the two provinces; and

commit the provinces to co-operate on e-learning. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on environmental harmonization between Alberta and BC will result in similar rules in both provinces governing ozone depleting substances and halocarbons, deep well injection, special waste sites registry, waste paint stewardship, and electronic product stewardship. BC and Alberta have a combined population of more than seven million people, or about one-quarter of the total population of Canada. The two provinces produce almost $300 billion worth of goods and services per year, or about one-third of all goods and services in Canada (2002 figures), and are home to three of the six largest cities in Canada. More information is available from Max Cleeveley of BC Water, Land, and Air Protection, 250/356-0202, or Val Mellesmoen of Alberta Environment, 780/427-2848.

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