Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen and Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins answered questions at the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce’s annual breakfast with MPs on Thursday morning. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

UPDATED: Red Deer MPs speak to the business community

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce host Breakfast with the MPs

Red Deer MPs Earl Dreeshen and Blaine Calkins say the federal Liberal government has failed farmers and fumbled the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins said there is no mention of pipeline construction funding in the 2019 budget.

“Because the government owns that project now, you would think the government would actually have a budget to do something with it.

“Instead, they have millions of more dollars for consultations on Trans Mountain expansion,” said Calkins after speaking before a crowd of about 60 people at the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce’s annual breakfast with MPs on Thursday.

“While I remain hopeful that the pipeline gets built, I don’t have a lot of faith in the current government following through on that.”

He said it doesn’t make any sense shutting down one of the most lucrative sectors in the Canadian economy.

“Alberta is not just in a recession. We actually probably have been in a forced depression here. Why isn’t the Canadian energy market booming or going gangbusters like it is in the Sates?

“The reason is there’s no investment confidence here because of the regulatory quagmire, the uncertainty and unpredictability of the investment environment,” Calkins said.

Dreeshen said farmers are frustrated with the federal government’s lack of progress to reopen the door for Canadian canola in China.

“We’re not getting any traction whatsoever. We’ve been told by the minister it’s a go-slow process,” Dreeshen said.

He said government mismanagement has led to Canada being shut out of international trade negotiations that are allowing the United States to explore exporting more of its grain to China.

“Other countries are doing what they feel is best for their countries. We should have somebody who is doing what’s best for our country. Unfortunately, on the trade side, we are falling down,” Dreeshen said.


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Calkins said he is still waiting for the parliamentary committee on public safety to release its overdue report on crime to the House of Commons. The committee has been examining a report from a rural crime task force made up of Conservative MPs.

“It will be very interesting to see what their report says compared to what we discerned as Alberta MPs back in 2017.”

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