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MLA Larry Doke looking forward to economic summit as president of PNWER

The preliminary agenda has been released for the upcoming 29th Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Annual Summit in Saskatoon.

The preliminary agenda has been released for the upcoming 29th Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Annual Summit in Saskatoon.

The summit is the annual gathering of legislators and private-sector delegates from around the member provinces and states in the organization. Saskatchewan hosts the summit this year; other jurisdictions included in PNWER are Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon and Northwest Territories as well as the American states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

It runs July 21-25 with most sessions happening at the Sheraton and at the Bessborough in downtown Saskatoon. These were also the venues for the last PNWER summit in Saskatoon in 2012. The difference is that the main speeches are slated for the Sheraton ballroom this year.

Larry Doke, MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, is president of PNWER. This summit promises to be a highlight of his year in that role. 

“All in all it’s come together really good,” said Doke in speaking to the News-Optimist. “We have a huge host of guest speakers.” 

The summit kicks off Sunday, July 21 with a welcome reception with Mayor Charlie Clark in Bess Gardens, hosted by the City of Saskatoon and Tourism Saskatoon.

Monday promises to be a busy day with a panel featured confirmed speakers former U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, Canadian Ambassador Michael Kergin, and U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, moderated by Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood of the Canadian American Business Council. Some other ambassadors or former ambassadors have been invited but are not yet confirmed.

“We are going to get off to a real good start about the USMCA, where we’re at now that steel and aluminum tariffs have been dropped,” said Doke.

The keynote luncheon Monday is also at the Sheraton and features an address by Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan. That will be followed by a number of smaller working groups.

“We have 22 working groups,” Doke said. The one that Doke co-chairs is the agriculture working group, which will be hosting an event at the Ag in Motion site outside the city in the afternoon.

“Ag in Motion has agreed to keep all its machinery and everything from the week before” from the Ag in Motion show, Doke said. 

The University of Saskatchewan will be hosting delegates in an evening reception; included will be tours of the Synchatron and other aspects of the university.

The Tuesday schedule includes a keynote breakfast panel entitled “Building Infrastructure for the 21st Century: How does the region look forward to the future markets we need to serve.” The panel includes Ken Seitz, CEO of Canpotex, Robin Silvester, CEO Port of Vancouver, and Phil Lamarche, Director of Transportation Operations Federated Cooperative Ltd.

The keynote luncheon that day is titled “Capturing Asian Markets” with Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO of AGT Foods, and John Stackhouse, Senior Vice President, Royal Bank of Canada. It is moderated by Victor Thomas of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

That night will feature the PNWER Celebration Dinner featuring Métis and First Nations Dancers at Western Development Museum. Included for delegates will be a tour of the WDM’s “Boomtown”.

Wednesday session includes a keynote breakfast on the topic of the U.S. - Canada Border. The Hon. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is confirmed to be there, while Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Department of Homeland Security has been invited

The keynote luncheon features a Business Roundtable on U.S. - Canadian Trade. Confirmed areh Goldy Hyder, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada, Scotty Greenwood, CEO, Canadian American Business Council, while invites have been sent to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Trade for America. It is to be moderated by Colin Robertson, Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

Some policy tours are slated for Wednesday as well as the final day, Thursday. Among the tours Wednesday are to the Meewasin Valley Authority and Gardiner Dam; scheduled for Thursday is a tours of the Nutrien Allan Potash Mine, while others will be able to head south to tour Boundary Dam Power Station Unit 3 & Carbon Capture.

The agenda is a tentative one; details are available online at