Essex MP, Tracey Ramsey at Windsor's Labour Day celebrations, September 3, 2018. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Ramsey demands stronger leadership on behalf of workers

A local Member of Parliament has said the majority Liberal government is dragging its feet when it comes to tariffs.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey rose in the House of Commons in Ottawa Thursday during Question Period, demanding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrate leadership on behalf of workers across the country, and particularly in southwestern Ontario.

Ramsey called the prime minister out over his apparent refusal to participate in a signing of the new free-trade agreement until the tariffs on aluminum and steel, imposed on Canada by the Trump administration, are lifted. She said that won’t go far enough.

“How exactly is this defending Canadian jobs?” said Tracey. “Is the prime minister so vain that he thinks depriving the U.S. of his presence from a photo-op is the best trade strategy to get rid of the tariffs?”

Tracey said Trudeau should take a hard line and not sign the new deal at all until all the tariffs are lifted, saying that the tariffs are affecting jobs in Windsor-Essex.

In response, Trudeau rose and suggested that Ramsey take another look at what is happening in her riding and pointed out that on a recent visit to Windsor-Essex, he assured manufacturing workers that they are being taken care of. He insisted that talks have always been taken seriously.

“During negotiations, our purpose has always remained to create the conditions to grow a stronger middle class, and improve opportunities for Canadians,” said Trudeau. “We will not stop working until these unfair tariffs are gone. It is what Canadian workers and their families expect. It is what we’ll do.”

Tracey said the government must refrain from signing trade agreements that flood Canada with foreign-made goods without protecting Canadian jobs.