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In addition to making several dealer and school visits this summer, I’ve been working with our Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher and our lobbying team at Impact Public Affairs to ramp up engagement on the political front. It’s important for our dealers to participate in the political and legislative process. In government as in business, it’s often been said, “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you may be on the menu.”

The upcoming federal election in Canada is a unique opportunity for our Association to engage with political candidates. Political parties have entered full campaign mode for the next federal election, set for October 21, by releasing platform commitments, identifying candidates across Canada, and attending and promoting events.

Courtesy of Chatelaine.com, “The major parties will be the Liberals, who’ll fight to retain their majority, the Conservatives, who’ll want to unseat the Liberals to form a government, and the New Democratic Party, who’ll want to grow their distant-third-place status into something a bit more competitive with the other two major parties. The Green party will run, of course, and the Bloc Québécois in Quebec. Former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada also intends to run candidates in 2019; it’s too soon to say how big a factor they’ll be. In terms of leaders, of the major parties, only the Liberals expect to go in with the same leader they had last time. Andrew Scheer, the Conservative who replaced former prime minister Stephen Harper, is an experienced parliamentarian, but has never led the party into a national campaign. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is an experienced politician, but served previously in the Ontario legislature; he was only elected to Parliament last month. This campaign will be his first as leader of the national party.”

In recent developments, Andrew Scheer, the Conservative Party’s leader, unveiled his party’s climate change proposal. Scheer committed to the Paris emission targets while scrapping the Liberal’s carbon pricing scheme, by calling for funding for retrofits, patents for green technology and caps for larger emitters.

The New Democratic Party also released its complete platform for the election, the first party to do so. The party’s focus is creating a “Pharmacare” plan, which would cover certain prescription drugs and eventually mental, dental, vision, and hearing services. The NDP would also continue carbon pricing and put a 1 percent “wealth tax” on personal earnings over $20 million.

AED has launched a grassroots advocacy program where we can connect you with your local Members of Parliament or candidates to tour your facilities. This is modeled after the very successful congressional visit program that has been taking place for the past few years south of the border. This is an excellent opportunity for you to highlight the jobs you create and the good work you do in your local community, as well as speak to the issues that are impacting your local business. Once you inform us of your interest in organizing a tour, we will take care of all the organizational aspects and make sure you are prepared with key AED messages.

In other news important to Canadian dealers, the government has announced approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project, which it purchased for $4.5 billion a year ago; it has conducted consultations since that time to overcome hurdles in the project’s development. It is anticipated that the project will resume by this fall. In response to the government’s actions, AED’s President and CEO, Brian P. McGuire, said, 

“AED commends the government for approving the Trans Mountain Pipeline, a long-overdue step that is in Canada’s national interest. The project will generate considerable economic activity, creating jobs across the construction sector. AED members are ready to provide the equipment needed to complete the pipeline and the resulting infrastructure projects.”

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