By Emily Pearce Rayner, Director of Government Relations.
On October 19, 2015, Canadians elected a majority government, led by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada. Over the 11 week campaign, which saw all major parties leading or trailing at one point, the Liberals were awarded an overwhelming victory with nearly 40 per cent of the national vote. Trudeau tapped into the country’s desire for change, after nearly a decade of rule by the Conservative Party of Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
For the fertilizer industry, the ground has shifted. Members can expect changes in focus on major portfolios: transportation will focus on gridlock and transit; agriculture on Eastern Canadian farmers, where the party’s rural constituency is based. However, Trudeau has made clear his intention to remain committed to issues such as trade and corporate taxes.
In one of his first moves as Prime Minister-designate, Trudeau contacted each of the Premiers to invite them to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21), November 30 to December 11, in Paris. This marks the first step in fulfilling his campaign promise to develop a pan-Canadian strategy to address climate change within 90 days. As one of the industry’s most active files, Fertilizer Canada is working to ensure our interests are represented as these decisions are made by federal and provincial leaders.
What are the next steps? A regionally and gender-balanced cabinet will be appointed November 4. Trudeau has not indicated when Parliament will reconvene to present a Speech from the Throne, but this presentation of the government’s agenda will be the first act of the new Parliament. There is also a tremendous amount of work happening behind the scenes: hiring staff, preparing briefings for new Ministers, orienting new MPs and allowing them to find accommodation in Ottawa.
Fertilizer Canada is busy preparing for their arrival. It is important we are known, and our industry is understood as the government develops and implements policy and as the opposition holds the government to account. Members can help by reaching out to their local MP (found here), and sharing the role our industry plays in their constituency. Fertilizer Canada would be pleased to assist you in scheduling these meetings and to support any of your efforts to promote the industry.