News

August 08, 2018

The Defend Local Jobs Tour arrives in Chilliwack--Hope

Chilliwack, BC – Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack—Hope and Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley--Aldergrove held a roundtable at Ironside Design Manufacturing in Chilliwack as part of the Conservatives Defend Local Jobs tour.

Throughout the summer, Canada’s Conservatives have been meeting with workers, businesses and local labour groups across the country to hear their concerns regarding Canada’s response to the U.S. tariffs and challenges facing their industries.

“The interests of Western Canadian steel and aluminum manufacturers are very different from their counterparts in central and eastern Canada,” said Strahl. “It was good to hear their unique perspectives on the current challenges facing them. They are worried that the actions of the federal government to help central Canadian companies could result in significant harm to their businesses, which could result in major job losses in our region.”

Strahl said that the companies represented at the roundtable indicated that uncertainty of the impacts of the US trade action were looming large, with prices going up and future contracts in jeopardy. 

“People are working now because they are fulfilling contracts that were in place before this trade dispute started. The worry is ‘what happens six months from now, will I be able to get a reliable supply of steel, what will the costs be, can I keep these high paying manufacturing jobs here if I can’t get reliable access to quality product at a reasonable price’.”

Meetings like the one held in Chilliwack have also been held across Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and in the Lower Mainland. 

In addition to the roundtable held in Chilliwack, the Conservative Shadow Minister for International Trade, Dean Allison and Conservative House Leader, Candice Bergen held a roundtable discussion with the BC Chamber of Commerce in Vancouver, met with the Independent Contractors and Business Association in Burnaby, and with union representatives from CLAC. They were scheduled to join the Chilliwack event but were caught in a closure of the Trans-Canada Highway on Tuesday afternoon. 

"Listening to businesses, workers and all those affected by these tariffs is essential. The best solutions to the challenges we're facing on trade and tariffs are going to come from the people directly affected, and we are here to assist in any way we can,” concluded Strahl.

The cross country roundtable findings will be summarized and presented to the Federal Minister of International Trade when the House of Commons returns for its fall session in September. 

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