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‘Great news’ for Canada: Former N.S. premier on Biden’s visit | North American Leadership Summit

‘Great news’ for Canada: Former N.S. premier on Biden’s visit | North American Leadership Summit

Welcome back to power play on this Tuesday evening any moment now we are expecting to hear from the Prime Minister and his Mexican and American counterparts they’ll hold hold rather a joint press conference in Mexico City I can show you a live shot of the room as It prepares to hear from the three of them that press conference there’s John.

Kerry uh talking to foreign affairs minister Melanie Jolie like I said we’re standing by we’re expecting to hear from everyone there momentarily we’ll listen in live to those remarks when they happen they will happen on the heels of some very important meetings that took place today in Mexico City not more so at least from the perspective of this.

Country than the one that took place between U.S President Joe Biden and prime minister Justin Trudeau a bunch of things came out of that meeting and that’s what we want to talk about with our front bench panel joining me this evening former Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil former deputy conservative leader Lisa Rachel she’s.

The vice chair and managing director of global investment banking at CIBC CTV News political analysts and former NDP leader Tom mulcair is here as is the Toronto Stars Queens Park bureau chief Robert Benzie hi everybody good to see you thank you very much for making the time hi Stephen I’m going to start with you.

As we kind of Stand By and wait to hear from the Prime Minister uh and the U.S president the president is coming to visit in March kind of quote unquote finally sure there was a pandemic in between but but I know I know that people in government have been anxious for that visit should we place a lot of stock in it well listen it’s great news.

For Canada listen our largest trading partner most important partner is the United States thought that the president is coming here is an opportunity for us continue to point out the fact that our economies are linked we need to make sure that as we move into some difficult Economic Times and continuing them that we don’t move into a production estate.

That buy America approach will hurt Canada we need to make sure that our economy which runs north-south continues to flourish and in this time we need this relationship to continue to uh to continue to grow and I take this that the fact that the president is coming is a very good sign let’s Dive Right In when you mentioned.

Protectionism because Lisa I know this is something that that you’re talking about all the time right now and in particular and I mentioned this with the former U.S ambassador Bruce Heyman but the inflation reduction Act and the challenge is it poses for this government going forward just just to brief our audience really quickly that’s.

A big piece of legislation that was introduced that provides billions hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies for the development of Green Technology from batteries to cars we carved out an exclusion for the overall process of making an electric vehicle but not really where the battery is concerned and some other stuff how.

Worried should the federal government be about that well I’m like Stephen I’m very welcoming uh President Biden coming and the reason being may be a little bit different it’s because I think that the president’s uh presence of the United States needs to be here in order to continue spurring on Canadian lawmakers legislatures and.

Officials to move ahead on making sure that we’re matching up with the inflation reduction act as quickly as we possibly can time is of the essence so having a milestone like the president of the United States coming to visit in March is actually very helpful ensuring that people feel that sense of urgency that we really need to have when it.

Comes to making sure we’re part of this new economy it’s a 369 billion dollar inflation reduction act in the United States we can’t compete toe-to-toe on that at all however we have the critical minerals and we have the patents and we have the Ingenuity and we have the people who want to make sure that they’re playing in that economic space.

For for the rest of our future but we got to make sure that we’re part of the beginning of it to to not be left behind so I like the fact that the president’s coming to set the tone on urgency and I hope that it’s going to be setting um a bit of a of a milestone for the folks in Ottawa to ensure that they’re running on all cylinders to get where we need to be.

That meeting Tom is happening in person so is the one our viewers were just looking at between so many you know not just the Prime Minister and the president but a host of other politicians how important is it that this stuff does happen in person sure we’re having all the virtual meetings sure there’s a lot of diplomatic.

Discussion but how significant is it that they’re meeting face to face now and then also will be in March it’s extremely important developing that type of personal relationship when something goes south if you pick up the phone to talk to your opposite number in the other capital and you don’t know each other it’s that much more difficult.

So yes establishing a good warm rapport with the people on the other side is essential look at immigration I mean if you look at the the readout of the different meetings today you’ll notice that with regard to the US and Mexico there seems to be a lot there with regard to Canada and the U.S not so much and I think that Mr Trudeau might get.

Some questions on that when he comes and meets the Press later on because a lot of people wanted to know about these this system that we have where it’s supposed to be a safe Third Country if you’re seeking asylum in the you know coming in to Canada from the United States you’re you’re to go back because the U.S is presumed to be safe Marco.

Mendocino made a hint a couple of weeks ago that they were about to change that Mr Trudeau seems to have shut the door on that will there be an opening this is a huge political issue for Mr Trudeau across the country but most importantly in back where this famous rocksome Road sees tens of thousands of people crossing irregularly so this is the type.

Of thing when you can pick up the phone the next time and talk to your opposite number on an immigration on a security on a border issue that’s why these meetings are so important it’s a good point of course uh there are efforts underway to Modern for a number of years is what allows people.

To cross between official poor places of entry and in rocks of Rome unfortunately less than a week ago one of those migrants was found actually dead and so we did request I should say to be transparent minister manochino to ask him just about that but he’s he’s apparently tied up as we saw in the live hopefully he’ll come on the program in.

The next few days to discuss if there has been any progress and if not why not uh Rob there were some announceables though out of today the visit is one of them the purchase of surface-to-air missile system from the U.S to deliver to Ukraine and then and then also a sort of like an interim agreement on Nexus where there’s this massive backlog right.

Now between three and five hundred thousand people so there are some tangibles out of this thing yeah and actually the The Trusted traveler Nexus program I use it of many of my colleagues do friends uh and it has been basically Frozen for some time now because of this impact between the United States and Canada over uh whether.

They’re how customers officials U.S customs officials uh could be treated here in Canada they like to have their guns there’s a whole bunch of other issues like that it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s a problem and it’s we’ve all seen the headaches with Airlines and airports across the country so I think anything that can help Travelers move more.

Quickly through a major airport is a good thing and this Nexus deal will will will help that so that’s one good thing certainly for for Ukraine the the uh the surface tear missile system announcement is very very important anything that Canada can do the United States can do to help Ukraine uh as it fends off this illegal Invasion by uh by Russia is is.

Good news and of course yes the visit the person Tom is right the personal report between the president United States and the and the prime minister of Canada is essential we know the last time a president was here in Canada it was Donald Trump in 2018 so almost five years ago and uh hasn’t we didn’t have such a great Rapport in this country.

With with President Trump’s Administration I think we’ll have a better one uh with this oh we’ve had a better one since since uh Biden took office in January 2021 and I think it’ll be better still with this uh face to face that the two of them will have in Ottawa in March Stephen let me Circle back to where we.

Started you mentioned the word protectionism and that you know Canadians and the federal government have to be aware of that how concern if you were still Premier How concerned would you be about some of the stuff you see in the IRA and some of the rhetoric around uh protecting U.S industry well I’d be very concerned uh quite frankly.

As I said at the very beginning our largest trading partner our economy is actually linked north south more than it is east west uh anytime the United States decides they’re going to wrap their arms around their own economy provide protection for their own businesses of course it impacts us here in in Canada you know in in Nova Scotia.

Or the home Michelin tire which is one of the largest exports that come out of uh the region Atlanta Canada what would happen to them every time you end up with this with the Americans deciding they’re going to put up barriers so I think we should be very concerned uh and uh my hope is that this was a big part of the conversation uh let’s not lose.

Sight of the fact many Canadian families are suffering uh and this has been a difficult year on many families economically uh all indicators are we’re going that’s going to continue uh for the for the next number of months anything that we can do uh collectively uh to continue to keep the economy moving providing opportunity because.

Let’s face it Canadian workers can compete Canadian companies can compete when the playing field is level and we need to make sure it stays that way okay I’m going to take take a quick sorry Tom you want to weigh in quickly is that your voice I heard sorry do you I can’t hear you did you want to say something really quickly.

Before I take a break no that’s fine fine Bashi oh never mind okay we’re gonna take that commercial break and then I’m gonna go straight to Tom when we come back we’re gonna talk actually about Healthcare and the uh that sort of deadlock between the feds and the provinces in just a moment right here on power play.

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