BC Premier Christy Clark and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed a formal agreement committing their governments to work closely together on Tuesday.
The pair were attending the Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Vancouver, focusing on creating a new global hub for innovation and technology.
The creation of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor will see Vancouver and Seattle take joint action on research, education, workforce development, transportation and investment.
Discussing potential cooperation between Vancouver and Seattle, Clark suggested creating a shared school curriculum and creating a “region without borders.”
“Also, creating joint degrees between Canadian and US institutions – if you start your degree at UBC, you do the other half at U-Dub [University of Washington.]” she told attendees.
“Getting a PhD in Canada should give you Canadian citizenship…That would remove false barriers that government puts in the way of innovation.”
Governor Inslee seconded Clark’s enthusiasm for greater cooperation between Vancouver and Seattle.
“There’s something secret in the water of the Salish sea – that secret is the power of innovation,” said Inslee.
Inslee said he is already working with US Congress and the Canadian Parliament to eliminate the border stop on the train between Vancouver and Seattle.
And regardless of political calls to “build a wall,” Inslee says Washington state is not going to shut the doors to high tech talent.
“We’re going to keep those orcas swimming across the border,” he joked. “We think [movement of people] is a healthy thing, it’s not an enemy of progress.”
“There’s nothing more welcome than bringing down those Whitecaps fans to see the Sounders emerge victorious.”