Guelph’s Parliamentary Perspective – Volume 2

December 5, 2016

This past week in Ottawa we continued to work on wrapping up the manufacturing study for the INDU committee, and coming to the close of research for the next comprehensive agriculture policy framework in the AGRI committee. Proceedings for committees can be found at www.openparliament.ca. In the House we had several votes, including third reading of legislation to grant sums of money from estimates of Bill C-35. We also voted on second reading of Bill C-26, to reform the Canada Pension Plan to increase payouts to $20,000 per year starting 2025 from the current $13,500 per year. To achieve this there will be increased contributions starting in 2019.

Outside the House and Committees it was great to meet with the Board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to discuss working together across Canada, connecting with small business to hear concerns through their local Chambers. We also discussed the Canadian Chamber’s recent report on manufacturing, and the work we are doing to support Canada’s manufacturing businesses. It was good to hear directly from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and some of the meat processors to discuss the potentials coming from the Calgary Statement leading into the next agricultural policy framework. We also discussed Canada’s capacity from building up herd size, processing capacity, inspection capacity through to access to markets to sell Canadian beef internationally. It was great to host a reception in Centre Block with the Cooperatives and Mutuals Canada, where many Guelphites were in attendance. We also continued work the Innovation and Post-Secondary Education Caucus is doing around youth unemployment and connections to First Nations around providing clean drinking water to communities. The Digital Caucus had a visit from the City of Guelph Open Government and Civic Accelerator representatives to discuss their progress and ways we can work together.

At the end of the week I was in Calgary to present to the Agriculture Machine Manufacturers, again with Guelphites in attendance to look at ways to support rural manufacturing that supports Canada’s 255,000 people working in food and food processing. I also toured a manufacturing facility in Calgary to see first-hand the steps being taken to apply innovation and process improvement to their facility, as well as discuss challenges they are facing.

As always, it was great to speak with and give written response to many Guelphites. We had some great progress on open files and inquiries, thanks to the great support from staff in Guelph and Ottawa and the representatives of government agencies we are interacting with.