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Arniemania comes to the Hill 

[PoliticsWatch updated 7:30 p.m. May 30, 2007]

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Canada's PM Stephen Harper exchange NHL ice hockey jerseys on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 30, 2007. 
(Photo Courtesy Parliamentary Press Gallery pool photos/REUTERS/Chris Wattie.)

OTTAWA  — California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a rock star welcome on Parliament Hill Wednesday afternoon.  
  
The very tanned former box office sensation was greeted with applause from tourists as he arrived in his motorcade wearing just a shirt and tie. Upon exiting his car, he waved to the crowd and casually put on his jacket that he removed from the trunk. 

Unlike the usual quiet diplomatic visits, a large crowd of tourists with cameras awaited his arrival outside and when he entered the Parliament Hill lobby Hill staffers could be heard shouting "Arnold! Arnold! Arnold!"

"It's great to be here in Canada," he told reporters as he walked up the steps of the Peace Tower. "It's terrific."

Schwarzanegger then spent 55 minutes meeting in private with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his Centre Block Office. 

The two leaders exchanged hockey jerseys of the two teams involved in the Stanley Cup finals. Harper received an Anaheim Ducks shirt with his name on it and Schwarzenegger received an Ottawa Senators jersey that could barely make his last name legible on its back. 

After his meeting with Harper, the governor posed for photos with people who had gathered outside the PMO's suite of offices.  

Security kept reporters 20 feet back from the governor as he came down a stairwell to the main level, however Schwarzenegger gladly went out of his way to talk to a small group of reporters, including PoliticsWatch, who had waited for him. 

"The meeting was terrific," beamed the governor.

According to the governor, the two men discussed intellectual property laws to protect the motion picture industry, environmental issues and how to improve trade between California and Canada. 

"There is around $36 billion in trade that's been done between the two places -- California and Canada -- but why not go up to $50 billion? Why not have more Canadian products being sold in California and more California products being sold in Canada?"

When asked what he thought about Canada's Green Plan, Schwarzenegger said he and Harper talked about how jurisdictions in the world could improve their greenhouse gas emission targets. 

Even though California has set far more ambitious targets than Canada, the governor said "It does not mean that Canada has to be exactly where California is."

"As soon as anyone says that their targets are perfect or as soon as anyone says that we've already done all the stuff that we can do, that is wrong. We have always got to say that we have got to do more." 

Schwarzenegger said "big polluters" such as China and India need to brought into future global climate change agreements. 

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger waves to a group of school children as he leaves Parliament Hill on Wednesday, May 30, 2007. 
(PoliticsWatch News Services Photo)

As for Stanley Cup predictions, Schwarzenegger said "the best team" will win. 

The governor ignored a question from a reporter about whether he gave the prime minister any exercise tips. 

As Schwarznegger walked out of the Centre Block he triumphantly waved from the top of the stairs to a crowd of about 100 school children outside. 

A teacher asked the governor if he would pose for a picture with the children and he obliged sending the kids into a frenzy of yelling, screaming and camera flashes. 

He then entered an SUV in his motorcade and a little more than an hour after he arrived Schwarzenegger and all the excitement was gone. 


Canada and California: Did you know..? 

> California is the world's eighth-largest economy. Canada is the ninth. 

> Canada provides 23% of California's natural gas supplies and a third of its hydropower. 

> Automobiles and parts worth about $12 billion account for Canada's entire trade surplus with California. 

> California has about 36 million people; Canada has about 
32 million. 

> Trade with Canada supports 832,000 jobs in California. 

> Two-way of $36.9 billion in 2006 is made up of $22.7 billion in Canadian exports to California and $14.2 billion in Canadian imports from the Golden State. 

Source Department of International Trade

: Related Links

> Governor Arnold leads trade delegation to Canada

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