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    Road to the 2019 election – Food Guide changes and trouble with China

    It’s been a freezing cold winter in Ottawa, but debate has remained heated in the House of Commons. We are fast-approaching the next federal election in October 2019, and this session has continued to prove that we have plenty to hold this government to account on.

    One recent Liberal change that prompted a lot of debate is the new Canada Food Guide. Canada produces some of the best quality agricultural products in the world. Our farmers and ranchers supply the market with nutritious, safe products. They are produced with cutting-edge innovation and responsible environmental practices.

    Unfortunately, the Liberals have allowed their ideology to influence the development of the new food guide. It emphasizes their preferred political agenda over sound science. I’m concerned that in their effort to encourage plant-based diets, the Liberals have ignored a growing body of evidence that shows the importance of dairy and meat in a healthy diet.

    Further, they excluded agricultural stakeholders from consultations on the Food Guide. They claimed that this was to avoid the impression of industry interference in the development process. However, I believe that excluding agricultural representatives allowed them to ignore compelling evidence that their approach to the Guide was flawed. The ill-designed final product is proof that the Liberals should have consulted more broadly.

    Another issue that you’ve likely heard about is the ongoing detention of several Canadians in China. After a month of indecision, Prime Minister Trudeau has acknowledged that these detentions are ‘completely politically motivated’ but he has still not called the Chinese President to address this escalating diplomatic dispute. They have bungled this situation. Canada’s Ambassador to China, John McCallum, was even forced to resign over his comments on the case – but only after causing an international incident that further damaged Canada’s cause.

    I believe that Canadians are rightly concerned about family members in China and are frustrated with the Liberal government’s failure thus far to address escalating tensions.

    Conservatives continue to urge the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to resolve the ongoing dispute with China. The safety of the two Canadians detained and securing their release should be a top priority for the Prime Minister.

    I can be reached in Ottawa at martin.shields@parl.gc.ca. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or martin.shields.c1@parl.gc.ca, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any federal issue.