Feds should focus on trade, not scandal, says Premier

The federal government needs to change direction on policies that are damaging the economy of western Canada, according to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

“One in five jobs in Saskatchewan are dependent on exports,” said Moe in an address to the 114th convention of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities in Saskatoon March 13. “There is a real sense of urgency in our province when it comes to international trade and the challenges that are facing our most important industries.

“The federal government doesn’t seem to share this sense of urgency. Instead it is focused exclusively on managing a political crisis of its own making; a political crisis caused by the Trudeau government’s intense desire to safeguard 9,000 jobs in Quebec.

“Meanwhile, in western Canada over the course of the last number of months, we’ve lost 100,000 jobs, in part due to low resources prices, but in part due to federal policies like Bill C-69, the ‘no more pipelines’ bill.”

Moe said a growing protectionist trend in Canada’s two largest trading partners, the United States and China, poses a serious threat.

“Saskatchewan is Canada’s largest exporter of canola,” said Moe. “We need action now to deal immediately with China’s actions.”

Moe said Justin Trudeau must realize he is the Prime Minister for all of Canada, not just Quebec. He said the Canadian ambassador to the United States should be in Washington, DC working to lower tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products, not in Ottawa helping the Prime Minister navigate through the SNC Lavalin scandal.

He also called on Ottawa to immediately appoint a permanent ambassador to China.