Capping Off A Very Busy February

March 04, 2017

My parliamentary responsibilities and my roles as Vice-Chair of the International Trade Committee and Opposition Critic for Canada-U.S. Relations made for a very busy February.

In Ottawa over the last month, I met groups from Saskatchewan who wanted to talk about issues related to the international trade agreements that Canada is pursuing.  I appreciated the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Canadian Seed Trade Association, Sask Milk and the Canadian Labour Congress, among many others.  One theme each of these meetings had in common was uncertainty regarding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

NAFTA is a wide-ranging agreement that has implications for the labour and agriculture sectors and beyond; and I will be working hard to help bring some clarity to this issue in my work with American legislators and trade organizations.

To that end, I have also been undertaking roundtables across the country on NAFTA, so far completing one in Prince Albert and another in Toronto. Others are also planned for Alberta and Atlantic Canada next month.  I have also met with both the Canadian and the United States Chambers of Commerce and the Western Canadian Wheat Growers on this file as well.

If NAFTA renegotiations get underway in earnest, I believe Canada needs to have a clear idea of what our best outcome will be, and we can only arrive at this by meeting with the private sector and listening to what they want to see protected or revisited in the agreement.  What I hear in these meetings will be included in our Party's advice to the government on what a modernized NAFTA should look like.

Also related to the Canada-U.S. file, I travelled to Washington in February to attend the National Governors' Association winter meeting to reconnect with important players on the Canada-U.S. stage.  I also had the pleasure of accompanying General Andrew Leslie (the Liberal Parliamentary Secretary for Canada-U.S. Relations) to meetings with Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Governor Scott Walker's (of Wisconsin) Chief of Staff.  We also attended a working lunch at the Canadian Embassy to discuss developments in trade and other areas of the Canada-U.S. relationship and to seek valuable advice on formal discussions on NAFTA.

Whether I'm at home in our riding, or travelling to Ottawa, Washington or elsewhere, I am always aware of the privilege it is to serve as your Member of Parliament.
 
I am proud to be able to represent the people of our riding in these ways and am looking forward to the work in the months ahead!