Southeast Alaska Conference president Patty Phillips addresses delegates at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Southeast Alaska Conference president Patty Phillips addresses delegates at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Alaskan leaders discuss North Coast developments

Leaders from Southeast Alaska gave their thoughts on development activity on the North Coast.

As the Southeast Alaska conference took place at the North Coast Convention Centre, members of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Crest to hear from the current and incoming president.

Current president Patty Phillips, also the mayor of the City of Pelican, said the goal of the organization is to find a way for Canadians and Americans in the region to create a united voice for regional issues.

“We have cross-boundary common objectives … we have this boundary in place and we want to look at how we can cross that to both of our benefits,” she said, pointing to industrial development currently proposed for the Prince Rupert/Port Edward area.

“You have a lot of potential LNG and workforce activity that, perhaps, we could tap into.”

For incoming Southeast Alaska Conference president Garry White, also the executive director of the Sitka Economic Development Association, said the amount of activity happening in Prince Rupert is something that has not gone unnoticed by the neighbours to the north.

“I’m a bit jealous of what is happening here because I would love to have that in our community, so kudos to you for being proactive and being open for development,” he said.

“The change I see every time I come here is amazing. I think you’re doing a great job here.”

Among the common areas touched upon by the two representatives were the Alaska Marine Highway System and fisheries.

“It is just a border, but we do have some shared resources to draw upon to grow our communities,” said White.