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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Peace Arch crossing

The Seattle Times

Peace Arch Park at the U.S.-Canada border will be seen by hordes of traffic heading to and from the Vancouver Olympics next year.

New driver’s license program far from tepid

Editor, The Times:

I am disappointed that your newspaper chose “tepid” to refer to British Columbia’s work on making border crossings between Canada and the state of Washington easier and more secure [ “Border work won’t end in time for Olympics,” page one, Feb. 9].

British Columbia remains actively concerned about the impact of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) on the travel and economics of our border regions.

In cooperation with friends and partners in Washington state, British Columbia has been actively working to fully implement the Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) program, following a public announcement in January 2008, which would ease travel for Canadian residents coming to the U.S. by land.

In order to test this unique initiative and get it right, they have issued a number of enhanced drivers’ licenses over the last year. I expect B.C. to announce full implementation of the EDL program by spring.

The EDL program is an important step forward. B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement such a program and others in Canada are following their lead.

British Columbia has strong social and economic ties to Washington state, and both governments have a mutual interest in maintaining legitimate travel and trade between the two jurisdictions, especially in the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which a great opportunity to showcase our shared region to the world.

Tepid. I think not.

— Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations Joan McIntyre, British Columbia

Comments | More in British Columbia, Transportation

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