Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis visited the city recently to share his thoughts on pipelines, the carbon tax and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Genuis was joined by fellow Conservative MP Candice Bergen at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 12. Bergen is MP for Portage-Lisgar in Manitoba and also the Conservative House Leader.
In a post-roundtable interview Genuis said that pipelines and the carbon tax were two issues in particular he’d been hearing a lot about from constituents.
“I think there is strong support in this area for the development of pipelines. And everywhere I go, I hear people wanting to see us remove barriers that prevent good projects from going ahead," he said.
Genuis was critical of federal decision-making on energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline, that he said have done just the opposite.
“We see new barriers being put in place that will prevent the development of future pipelines if they're not removed."
Bergen reported hearing similar concerns in her Manitoba riding and across the country, saying some people are worried that Canada is losing its competitive edge.
“We're losing business. We're losing investment. We're losing, specifically, energy investment to the U.S.,” she said.
Arguing that a federal carbon tax was “the wrong way to go,” Bergen added that Conservatives have pushed for an end to the tax and to increased taxes on small businesses.
The USMCA trade deal and its implications for Canada also came up in the day’s discussions. The deal, completed last month after more than a year of negotiations, includes agreements on automotive manufacturing, agriculture, labour and dispute settlement. Genuis doesn’t believe the Canadian government negotiated USMCA effectively.
“It's important that we have trade with the United States,” he said. “But (Canada) made a lot of concessions and got nothing in return.”
Bergen agreed with Genuis’ assessment.
“The Liberals gave a lot to the U.S. They gave Trump everything he asked for. And Canadians got nothing in return."