2014 was a year of both challenges and successes for the federal government, and looking back, there are a few changes that stand out in Peace River MP Chris Warkentin’s mind.
One day he’ll never forget is October 22nd, the shootings at Parliament Hill, which he says were a wake up call for Canadians that there are people in this country who wish others harm.
“To see those people that are motivated by extremist values and extremist positions has always been foreign to Canadians,” he explains. “We as Canadians will prevail; there’s no question, and those values that have made us strong are the values that will take us forward.”
Warkentin also points to the passing of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as a significant milestone for the country, as he was someone who guided the government through difficult years.
Better memories for the local representative include observing the presidential elections in Ukraine and travelling to the U.K. with the Prime Minister to discuss trade opportunities.
Looking ahead, Warkentin expects the Canadian-European Free Trade Agreement to greatly benefit the Peace country once it’s fully ratified by European countries.
“This is a very comprehensive trade and labour agreement, and so there is significant debate that happens in these countries. At the end of the day, it’s our belief that Canadians will benefit, and we believe that in the long run, the European market will benefit as well.”
2015 should also be packed, with federal elections expected in the fall.
More pressing, however, is protecting our region from falling oil prices.
Warkentin says they should be a reminder that we need to build the capacity to ship to international markets.
He’s spending the holidays here in Grande Prairie with his family, and wishes a Merry Christmas to all.