CETA a historic deal for Alberta and Canada

November 9, 2016 - 9:27am

During our time in Government Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Honourable Ed Fast along with a host of other people worked tirelessly for seven years to negotiate a deal.  Our team marched the ball down the field and punched it across the goal line.  The only thing left was for the Liberals to kick the point after.

The wind blew and the ball hit the goal posts, we needed an instant replay before Canadians knew if the point after was good.    What should have been an easy play almost turned into a fumble as they overestimated the popularity of their quarterback.

The Comprehensive European Trade Agreement is a deal with the 28 member states of the European Union that represents 500 million people and an annual economic activity of almost $20 trillion dollars.

For Alberta that has a significant impact, for instance currently Canadian farmers are subject to a $114-$190/tonne import tariff on their product. However, under CETA 90% of those tariffs will be removed.  This is great news for Alberta wheat, barley, rye, durum and canola exports.

For ranchers in Alberta CETA will mean a boost of $600 million worth of duty free exports into the EU market.  Furthermore, it is estimated that CETA will generate the equivalent of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income or almost 80,000 new jobs to the Canadian economy.  At a time when Alberta’s economy is struggling and people are out of work it was critical this deal was finalized.

Instead of being front and centre, Justin Trudeau was nowhere to be found, his lack of presence almost cost us the hard work and strong leadership our former government invested in this agreement.  Governing is more than just taking selfies or showing up when the lights and cameras are turned on.  When something as important as the CETA agreement is on the brink of falling apart the Prime Minister must show up.  Thankfully, the Europeans were able to salvage the deal and get it approved for ratification.  I look forward to working to implement the final agreement once tabled. 

Please contact my Constituency office if you have any questions or concerns on any federally related matters, postage free, at: 201-5025 Parkwood Road, Blackfalds, AB T0M 0J0; tel: 587-621-0020; toll free: 1-800-665-0865 or visit my web site: www.blainecalkinsmp.ca or on twitter at www.twitter.com/blainecalkinsmp

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