Gov. Jay Inslee hosted British Columbia Premier David Eby on Monday for his first visit to Washington state since becoming premier in November. The two discussed climate and renewable energy; housing and homelessness; high-speed rail; and transboundary cooperation, among other topics, in their bilateral meeting before holding an availability with local and Canadian media.
"We have had the start of a beautiful friendship, continuing to build on what we've done with the premier's predecessor," said Inslee, referring to former Premier John Horgan, who served from 2017 to 2022.
Inslee praised both governments' success growing jobs in clean energy and plans to tackle carbon emissions. The governor also lauded British Columbia's efforts in housing through a $3 billion investment, drawing parallels to current efforts in the Washington state Legislature to invest billions into new housing. The two also discussed issues with worsening flooding along the Nooksack River that affects communities on both sides of the international border. The governor and premier reaffirmed their mutual commitment to address those environmental challenges.
"We had a really nice and really productive day," said Premier Eby. "There's so many common priorities, common issues and challenges that our two jurisdictions face, which is why we're talking about things like the clean energy economy and the opportunities to work together to build that up in our region; the ability to connect our people with high speed rail and to deepen those connections; salmon, an iconic species for Washington state and British Columbia; the issues of affordable and attainable housing to grow our economy with the essential infrastructure we need; and we talked about social issues as well, mental health and addiction issues, the scourge of fentanyl, and the work we need to do on that."