Local MP Blake Richards wasn't in the House of Commons for the show of solidarity against US President Donald Trump's trade tariffs and verbal attacks against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but he fully supports standing behind our nation's industries, workers and trade interests.
Still, he believes the Trudeau Government is acting too slow in taking actions to counter the tariffs imposed by the States and wants the Trudeau government to get moving.
Yesterday, NDP trade critic Stacey Ramsey received unanimous support from the House for her motion that largely opposes US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, rejects disparaging statements from the Trump administration and supports the need to respond with retaliatory tariffs. It also stands up for Canadian farmers and supply management, which is integral for dairy, chicken, turkey and egg farming.
"I've got lots I can criticize Justin Trudeau and the government on, but certainly when it comes to working in the best interest of our industries that rely on free trade we all want to try and work together and present a united front on those wherever possible," says Richards.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has weighed in on the issue and many others have abandoned partisan lines to stand up for our nation.
"It's important to have a unified approach to this negotiation from a Canadian perspective as much as possible and make sure everybody sets aside any partisan interest and works for the benefit of Canada and those who rely upon this important trade relationship."
Richards said our trade relationship with the States is something we all should be concerned about.
"This is our biggest trading partner, our closest ally and our neighbour and that relationship is critical for us. That trade is absolutely critical for us. We have to do everything we can to work with them and come to some kind of situation that we make sure that trade relationship and the ongoing friendship stays firm."
Richards has now been in the House for eight years both in government and opposition and says he's never seen tactics like those being taken by Trump.
"I can't ever really recall a situation like this one and I have to firmly believe that cooler heads will prevail. I have to firmly believe there is a desire and interest on both sides of the border that important trade relationship is maintained. I have no doubt some way will be found for that to happen."
He supports counter tariffs and wants the Trudeau Government to get moving.
"I think that is required in this situation. I wish they would move quicker with that, that's one criticism I would have."
He also believes it would be valuable to keep all parties posted.
"I think it would be a wise move on their part to continue that unified Team Canada approach to keep the opposition parties briefed on what's occurring but I don't think it has happened to any large degree that I'm aware of.
While the vote was taken, Richards was in the air returning from his constituency after battling an illness.