Yorkton This Week sent a list of ten questions to each of the five candidates running in the Yorkton-Melville riding in the 2019 Federal Election. Every day for ten days, we will post their answers. Yorkton-Melville heads to the polls on Oct. 21.
Agriculture is big sector in this riding, but less prominent nationally, what do you see the sector needing from the federal government in the next four years, and how does that fit your party policy?
Ryan Schultz, People's Party of Canada:
Access to global markets.
The Federal Government needs to resolve the many trade disputes and blacades Canadian goods are facing. Abroad and even at home with interprovincial trade barriers.
The most competent negotiators need to be put in place to resolve these issues through diplomacy.
Free trade is in line with our party platform.
Cathay Wagantall, Conservative Party:
Canadian farmers are paying the price for the Liberal government’s mistakes at home, and abroad. Justin Trudeau’s failure on the world stage has damaged stable export markets for Canada’s agriculture sector. His carbon tax and over-regulation have significantly hurt Canada’s farmers. His increased taxes, concessions to Donald Trump during NAFTA negotiations, and his failure to stand up for Canada when China banned meat, soy and canola exports, have left our farmers with greater uncertainty.
Canada has lost Chinese market access for canola seed, soy and meat exports, costing our farmers more than $1 billion and growing. The issue at hand is not Canada’s high-quality products. Rather, it is Justin Trudeau’s failure to take decisive action and deal with the threats posed by China.
Specifically, we urged the Liberal government time and again to stand up to China and support Canada’s agriculture sector by:
1. Immediately announcing a qualified ambassador to China
2. Immediately withdrawing Canada from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
3. Increasing inspections on all Chinese imports.
4. Examining possible retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports that will have the greatest possible impact while minimizing harm to Canadian consumers.
Justin Trudeau lost face by claiming the need to follow the rule of law in relation to extraditing a Huawei executive to the US and yet saw himself above the law in regard to the SNC Lavalin scandal.
I believe that our agricultural industry will benefit from our promises to remove the carbon tax and repeal the Liberal anti-pipeline and tanker ban legislation. We will re-establish regional development offices in the West to support opportunities to build on the extensive free trade deals brokered by past Conservative governments. We will remove 25% of the over 4,000 new Liberal regulations choking our businesses and leave money in the pockets of our entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their operations. We will ensure that our means of moving our farm products to port are safe, efficient and fair across our nation. As well, we will restore foreign trade relationships damaged by Justin Trudeau’s embarrassing grandstanding with another Conservative statesman – Andrew Scheer as the Prime Minister of Canada.
Stacey Wiebe, Green Party:
Reassurance from the federal government that they will be recognized for the environmental good that they are doing. As of the writing of this, I have heard mainly from beef producers, and this is the main point that has been given. The Green Party has pledged to renew the national Environmental Farm Plan Program to help farmers protect wildlife habitat areas and marginal lands, maintain water quality and streams, lakes and aquifers, and retain and improve soil quality, increase carbon sequestration and decrease water requirements.
Carter Antoine, New Democratic Party:
The TPP deal that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government signed will directly hurt our dairy and egg farmers. As someone who has worked in the dairy industry, it frustrates me to see the people who work to put food on our tables being punished. We need fair and transparent trade deals that respect Canadians, their farms, and their livelihoods.
Connor Moen, Liberal Party:
I think that the Agriculture sector is certainly not to be ignored, but rather, promoted. Many constituents continue to make their living in this area. Canada is now the only G7 country to have trade deals in place with every other G7 country. This is in part due to the Liberal Government's work to pass trade deals like the USMCA, CETA, and the CPTPP. More work needs to be done to help get our products to market. Helping to free rail lines to allow our product get to the global markets we have access to secured through trade deals.