Dallas optimistc on labelling issue

Cal Dallas returned to Alberta from Washington, D.C., late Wednesday, optimistic that a Canada-U.S. trade irritant might soon be resolved.

Cal Dallas returned to Alberta from Washington, D.C., late Wednesday, optimistic that a Canada-U.S. trade irritant might soon be resolved.

Alberta’s minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations was in the American capital early this week with Premier Alison Redford. They met with politicians and State Department officials, and the United States’ contentious country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rules were among the issues discussed.

Under COOL, meat products sold in the U.S. must indicate the country they came from, and be processed and packaged separately.

This is discouraging some processors from buying Canadian beef, pork and other meats.

COOL is being challenged in the courts and through the World Trade Organization, but Dallas said a political solution would be better.

“What I heard from a variety of different sources there is that there are congressmen and senators that are looking at the potential to introduce a repeal amendment into the Farm Bill, which is under debate right now,” he said.

The province announced on Thursday that Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson will also add his voice to the anti-COOL lobby when he meets with American legislators in Washington next week.

“American legislators are debating the Farm Bill. Through the Farm Bill, U.S. legislators can put an end to the economic harm COOL is creating throughout North America,” said Olson.

Pipeline development, and specifically the proposed Keystone XL line that would connect Alberta’s oilsands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, was also discussed during Dallas and Redford’s trip to Washington.

Dallas said they were able to elaborate upon the measures being taken in Alberta to address concerns about greenhouse gas emissions — including carbon capture initiatives, investment in environmental technology and the sharing of best practices among oilsands companies.

“I think the awareness level of some of the work that we’re doing in Alberta is starting to pay some dividends in the context of allowing us to have a broader conversation,” said Dallas.

The meetings included Congress members Matt Salmon of Arizona, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Tim Griffin of Arkansas and Jim Costa of California; and Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Dallas and Redford also spoke with officials from the State Department and related agencies involved in Keystone’s environmental assessment. Dallas thinks they were able to strengthen the case for the pipeline.

“For example, we were able to have conversations about the rising use of rail to transport oil from the oilsands area and what that means, both in the context of GHG emissions — which means a larger GHG profile for the oil that’s moved in that manner, as opposed to through the pipeline — and that they were incorporating that kind of information into the assessment.

“That was critically important for us that there was a realization that the oil would continue to find a way to market; the question would be then what would be the most efficient and productive way to ensure that’s done safely.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Group with controversial views on immigration returning to Red Deer to hold public meeting

Pro-diversity proponents are concerned misinformation will incite hatred

Pumped up over lower gas prices

Many motorists rely on Costco for best local price

Medicinal cannabis facility proposed for Sylvan Lake

Local businessman hopes to cash in on growing market for alternative medicines

Alumni Breakfast for Women of Excellence

Breakfast to be held on Thursday in Red Deer

Black Friday gaining in popularity

Some Red Deer shoppers not keen on Black Friday

Curlers’ behaviour ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disrespectful’ at Red Deer Curling Classic

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Americans, Canadians are warned not to eat romaine lettuce

NEW YORK — Health officials in the U.S. and Canada told people… Continue reading

Oilers top Sharks 4-3 in OT in Hitchcock’s 1st game as coach

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers responded the… Continue reading

Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse pondering options ahead of season

TORONTO — Heading into an important season, Canadian sprint star Andre De… Continue reading

‘Dancing With the Stars’ no longer hopping for ABC

NEW YORK — The dance floor is thinning over at ABC. The… Continue reading

Man in life-threatening condition following attack at Pusha T concert, police say

TORONTO — Police say one person suffered life-threatening stab wounds following a… Continue reading

Ikea to cut 7,500 jobs as customer behaviour changes

COPENHAGEN — Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea says it is cutting 7,500… Continue reading

Laine’s hat trick lifts Winnipeg Jets to 6-3 win over Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER — Eighteen games into the season and Winnipeg Jets right-winger Patrik… Continue reading

Peterson, Luff lead Kings to 2-0 win over Blues

ST. LOUIS — Teammates and friends in the minors, Los Angeles Kings… Continue reading

Most Read