Anderson Ready for New Session

Anderson Ready for New Session Government SouthWest Saskatchewan  Government of Canada Canada

It was back to work for the Canadian House of Commons on Monday after a holiday break.

Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson has some focuses on mind for the new session.

“Providing jobs for Canadians, growing the economy and establishing long term prosperity,” Anderson said. “(Finance Minister Jim Flaherty) announced that we’ll be bringing down the budget on February 11th. He also has made it clear he wants to have the budget balanced by 2015. That has been a priority of mine and I’ve been encouraging our government to do that as quickly as possible.”

“We each get a chance to make a presentation to the finance minister. Part of mine was to encourage them to reduce the deficit as quickly as possible, get it to zero and start working with a surplus.”

The Conservative MP has been enjoying his new role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

{mp3}andersonjan28{/mp3}David Anderson Interview”It’s enjoyable,” Anderson said. “The highlight is I was able to go to the NATO foreign minister’s meeting because our minister wasn’t able to go. That was interesting to sit around the table with 20 of the 28 foreign ministers and hear the presentation about their country’s interest and we were able to make a presentation about Canada’s interests as well. That was very interesting and I guess something that only happens a couple of times in a person’s lifetime.”

In that new role there are some priorities the government is keeping an eye on, including the developing situation in the Ukraine which has seen the Prime Minster there resign.

“There’s democratic aspirations within the Ukraine that are really being hampered by the current government,” Anderson said on Monday. “There’s a big part of the population that would really like to see them ally themselves more tightly with the European Union… we really want to try to encourage the government of Ukraine to do the right thing.”

Protesters have occupied the capital’s main square for two months and fought at times with police for the last 10 days. The opposition continues to demand President Viktor Yanukovych resign and hold new elections.

That’s part of what could cause some fears for those travelling to Russia for the Olympics next month.

“Canadians need to be cautious,” Anderson noted. “They’ll make their own travel decisions, but certainly we’re encouraging people if they’re going over there they register with the government. Go to travel.gc.ca and make sure the Canadian government knows that they’re there.”

“They are going to need to be vigilant and to pay attention there and hopefully the Olympics will go off without any problems and be another celebration.”

Anderson also has his eye on the issues that specifically concern southwest Saskatchewan residents.

“The economy continues to be strong,” he suggested. “We’ve been dealing with rail freight issues over the last few weeks. Farmers are frustrated that they’re not able to move their crop off the prairies a little more quickly than they are right now. Certainly the minister has met with the railways, the grain elevator association, the terminals… we’re trying to sort that out.”

“I guess obviously only so much product can move down the rails, but the railways need to do a good job and need to be accountable for making sure they get product off the prairies.”

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