Minister of State for Finance Says Throne Speech and EU Trade Deal will Benefit Economy
Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson (Photo: House of Commons)
The Federal Minister of State for Finance was in Saskatchewan late last week to talk about the Speech from the Throne delivered in Parliament on Wednesday.
Kevin Sorenson, Member of Parliament for the Crowfoot riding in Alberta, made stops in Regina on Friday and Swift Current on Saturday to speak with different groups, ministers and stakeholders.
He says the priorities laid out in the speech should benefit Saskatchewan residents, including policies to create and protect jobs.
“We have the best economy in the G7, and we are the envy of much of the world as far as coming out of this economic downturn,” he said. “We want to make certain that we stay on focus.”
The speech also focused on a new Free Trade Deal with the European Union, which was agreed to in principle on Friday.
Sorenson says this deal is very positive for Canada’s economy, and especially for those in the agriculture industry.
“If you’re in the farming industry, I really believe we can be optimistic,” he added. “We reached free trade agreements with 28 new countries that are looking for our pulse crops, wheat and beef. This is going to be very, very good news for Saskatchewan, for Alberta and for Agriculture… It’s the biggest deal ever signed for Canada, and it gives access to 500 million people.”
However, reaction to the new deal has been mixed from some agriculture industry groups. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said they were pleased to see an agreement, saying Europe is the highest-value market to send many cuts of beef, but the Dairy Farmers of Canada have concerns with concessions made on market access for European cheese.
Sorenson says the details still have to be finalized and more negotiations need to take place, but believes this new agreement will still have major benefits to Canada’s economy.
“It is going to create thousands of jobs right here in Saskatchewan,” he added. “It is going to create thousands of jobs right across the country, and in fact, they are predicting up to 80,000 jobs, and it’s going to put billions and billions of dollars into our economy. We haven’t seen the agreement, the ink hasn’t dried, but when it does, I can promise you, the agricultural sector in Saskatchewan and across the country are going to be happy.”
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall released a statement on Friday saying that he welcomed the new trade agreement, adding it will open markets for Saskatchewan businesses and exporters to the European Union, particularly for our province’s agricultural products.
Meanwhile, the new provincial legislative session opens on Wednesday with the Speech from the Throne delivered by Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Schofield.
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