Tour participants gather in the rain on the Digby Island Ferry.

Tour participants gather in the rain on the Digby Island Ferry.

U.S. representatives learn about the Port of Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert played host to 20 American delegates from 10 Canadian Missions and 13 states as part of the 2015 Border, Ports and Rail Tour.

Prince Rupert played host to 20 American delegates from 10 Canadian Missions and 13 states as part of the 2015 Border, Ports and Rail Tour.

Organized by the offices of the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle, the delegates visited Vancouver and Prince Rupert from Oct. 27 – 29.

The Canada Border, Ports and Rail Tour began in December 2011, when former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama issued the Beyond the Border Action Plan: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, designed to enhance security and educate delegates on trade facilitation, economic growth and jobs, addressing threats early, cross-border law-enforcement, critical infrastructure and cyber-security.

The 20 delegates who came to Prince Rupert included state senators, city council members, railroads commissioners, business leaders, school district governing board members and congress district directors, among other figureheads. And from early reports, the tour participants seemed mightily impressed by the northern port city.

“We certainly got a lot of favourable comments all along the way,” said Consulate General of Canada senior political, economic and academic officer Kevin Cook.

In learning about land points of entry at the Vancouver and Prince Rupert ports, airports and rail stations, details of Canada’s security efforts, infrastructure improvements and border protection, the delegates were able to take in presentations last Wednesday from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, DP World Terminal, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Ridley Island Bulk Terminal and Quickload Container Examination Facility.

Through the hashtag #borderportsrail15 on Twitter, the delegates were able to immediately relay their thoughts on Rupert to the Twitter-sphere.

“Canadians keeping N-amer imports safe: radiation scanners, X-rays, fumigant detection, gum shoe detective work,” tweeted Tracey Grose, Bay Area Economic Council vice-president.

“A nice view for our first meeting in Prince Rupert”, Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco public affairs official Kate Walters tweeted.

“1st lesson in Prince Rupert – it often rains. Love it” tweeted Consulate General of Canada official James Hill, accompanying the message with pictures of an ominous sky enveloping the waterfront.

Representatives from Alaska, Arizona, Alabama, California, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin attended the three-day tour.