Canadian business leaders to connect with lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Mission to promote North American energy security, economy and cross-border trade in Washington

EDMONTON, May 18 /CNW/ - Promoting the shared prosperity of a stronger trade relationship and telling Canada's story on our own terms top the agenda as the Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) leads a multi-sector delegation of Canadian business leaders to Washington, D.C.

During the Canada Connects Mission, May 23-25, 2011, the delegation will engage key U.S. decision-makers about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this essential trade relationship.

The Canada Connects delegation, comprised of 50 business leaders representing virtually every sector of the economy, seeks to remind Washington leaders that Canada can help meet U.S. energy demands. Other areas of discussion include the proposed North American security and trade perimeter and maximizing the economic benefits of Canadian energy development in both countries through increased cooperation and integration.

"The AEG philosophy is that the business community must take the lead in fostering trade relationships and mutual understanding between our two countries," said AEG President Tim Shipton. "Representatives from a cross section of the Canadian economy will stand shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington to tell our story, and build relationships that will pay dividends in the future."

Key issues to be addressed

A key item to be discussed during the Canada Connects mission is TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline which would transport Canadian and United States crude to U.S. refineries including those at the Gulf Coast. This project is currently under U.S. federal government review.

"Projects like Keystone XL will be a big part of the Canada Connects conversation with U.S. lawmakers and business leaders," said Shipton. "It's estimated that Canadian oil sands development will create 465,000 jobs in the United States. We'll be talking about how to balance this incredible economic opportunity with top-notch environmental performance and respecting  relations with First Nations and other communities."

The three-day event will feature sessions with Canadian and U.S. military representatives, a cooperative luncheon with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a reception at the Canadian Embassy in Washington and sessions in both the United States House of Representatives and Senate.

Alberta Enterprise Group has led a number of initiatives aimed at promoting Canada and the Province of Alberta including missions to Washington, Geneva, Ottawa and hosting tours of Canadian oil sands facilities.

Key U.S. Participants:

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) 
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Vice Chairman, Sub-Committee on Environment & Economy
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials
Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) Vice Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Cynthia Quarterman, Administrator for Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

The delegation includes representatives of the following businesses and associations:

Canadian Trucking Alliance
Big Rock Brewery
North American Energy Partners
Enbridge
TransCanada
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Fort McKay Group of Companies
Flatlander Agri Services
Caron Transportation Systems
Shell Canada

The delegation will be joined by Alberta Member of Parliament James Rajotte and Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly Cal Dallas.

Editors: To see a draft agenda for the event, visit www.albertaenterprise.ca

SOURCE Alberta Enterprise Group

For further information:

AEG President Tim Shipton - 780 909-8584

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Alberta Enterprise Group

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