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Stanton, Arizona officials hit Canadian trail in search of more business

(Pixabay Photos)
LISTEN: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

PHOENIX — There may be even more snowbirds coming to the Valley from Canada now and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is pretty pleased about that.

Air Canada Rouge has launched a direct flight to Phoenix from Montreal, adding another international route to Sky Harbor International Airport.

“It’s negative 7 Celsius — 20 degrees Fahrenheit — with a freezing rain warning right now here in Montreal. … probably most of the passengers will be Montreal-to-Phoenix-bound,” Stanton jokingly told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News Friday.

Stanton and several other city and tribal leaders have been in Montreal drumming up more business between the state and the North American country.

The route took off Thursday.

Canada is Arizona’s second-biggest trading partner — the state exports $2 billion a year worth of goods up north.

“It’s a very successful economy here,” Stanton said.

He’d like to see more money coming from Canada in a different form — tourism.

“We get about 900,000 (Canadians) visiting … all over our beautiful state … but Florida gets over 4 million people.

“So we’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure that they understand the benefits of Arizona.”

Flights from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Phoenix will run three times week until May 28, then return Sept. 6 through May 2019.

“We cannot forget about Canada,” Stanton said.

“They do a lot of investment (in Arizona) … their real estate investments helped prop up our economy (during the recession). We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

Stanton said while the group was in Montreal it would be meeting with Canadian officials to talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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