Korean Trade Deal Secures Jobs

April 2014

First, my congratulations and thanks to all involved with the Rockton Dinner Theatre in March for another great production. It’s always very humorous and this year was no exception! Plus, I always enjoy helping out with the dinner and the sense of community in Rockton.

Also recently, I had a great opportunity to visit the Threshold School of Building in downtown Hamilton where the federal government is supporting the “Ready to Work” program through the Skills Link initiative. The Threshold School’s Ready to Work program helps youth learn in-demand construction trade skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and more. Not only does it help these youth with the age-old conundrum – “no experience, no job; no job, no experience” – but the projects that this program takes on are often to do with affordable housing renovation or construction. For this reason, I believe it’s a win-win-win for the youth, the community and the Canadian economy.

Switching gears to national issues, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in March is projected to increase exports by 32 per cent and boost the Canadian economy by $1.7 billion annually.

Opening up more trade opportunities with Asian countries is important to the long-term prosperity of the Canadian economy. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will benefit a wide range of sectors, including industrial goods such as chemicals, plastics, communications technology, aerospace, metals, agriculture and agri-food products. Canadian producers will now have access to a lucrative new market of 50 million people.

This free trade agreement is Canada’s first with an Asian market and will provide Canadian businesses and workers with a gateway to Asia – important as we work to keep growing jobs and opportunities for Canada in an uncertain economic world and competitive global economy.

It will also level the playing field for Canadian companies competing with Korea’s other trading partners, including the United States and the European Union, who already have free trade agreements with Korea.

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One final note, last month was Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and the Government of Canada was one of the partners, along with the banking association, working to promote fraud prevention initiatives for all Canadians.

In today’s electronic society, avoiding credit and debit card fraud is something that concerns us all. So I wanted to recap some of the practical tips that are being promoted as part of this effort:

  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately.
  • Always protect your PIN: use your shoulder or your hand to shield your PIN when entering it into the keypad.
  • Choose a secure PIN that could not be easily detected if your card is lost or stolen - don't use your birth date or address.
  • Check your transactions regularly.
  • Remember -- your credit card company or bank would never call or email to ask for personal information like your credit card number, debit card number, expiry date, PIN, or the security number on the back of your credit card.
Government Supporting Innovative Meat Processing at Hamilton's Maple Leaf Foods

March 20, 2014 – Hamilton, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale announced today a $5 million investment to Maple Leaf Foods to purchase and install new meat processing technology that will improve the company’s operating and production efficiencies while enhancing food safety and supporting product innovation.

David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, said government support for a plant like Maple Leaf is a good investment for the government.

"Ontario's food processing industry is the largest in Canada and top-three in North America. We’re proud to partner with Maple Leaf Foods in strengthening the food processing industry here in the Hamilton area. It's good news for local jobs and economic growth and it's also great news for Ontario's farmers since the industry is the number one purchaser of the food they grow."

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, says that the investment reflects the government’s priorities when it comes to investment in innovation.

"Innovation continues to be a priority for our government, and making strategic investments like this in one of Canada’s largest food processors will boost the competiveness of the meat sector and create employment opportunities for years to come."

Maple Leaf Foods will purchase a fully-automated process that significantly improves food safety and includes built-in features to facilitate product traceability. The system is also expected to improve the shape, texture, consistency and shelf-life of deli meat products while reducing sodium content. This strategic investment will boost the competiveness of the meat sector and create opportunities for Canadian pork producers for years to come.

Quick facts

  • Upon completion of the project,      Maple Leaf Foods’s Hamilton plant will have the capacity to produce 82      million kilograms of deli products annually.
  • The AgriInnovation Program is      a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward      2 policy framework. The Program’s Enabling Commercialization and      Adoption Stream provides repayable funding to agri-businesses and      cooperatives to facilitate the commercial demonstration, commercialization      and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or      services.
  • The Government continues to      pursue the most aggressive trade agenda in Canadian history, and recently      signed the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This agreement will expand      market access opportunities for Canadian exports of beef and pork.
  • Maple Leaf Foods is Canada’s      largest processor of value-added meat, meals, and baked goods.      Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, the company employs approximately      19,500 people in operations throughout Canada, the United States, Europe      and Asia.
  • The Armor Inox Thermix System,      the first of its kind in Canada, employs a fully-automated process that      includes built-in features for product traceability.

Associated links

Travel and Hospitality Disclosure Report: October 17 - December 31

Please see below for a link to our most recent Travel and Hospitality Disclosure Report:  October 17, 2013 - December 31st, 2013:

Travel and Hospitality Report: October 17, 2013 - December 31, 2013


Travel and Hospitality Expense Disclosure: October 17 - November 17

Please see below for the Travel and Hospitality Expense Disclosure:  October 17 - November 17:

Expense Report

Development of Young Musicians

February 18, 2013 – David Sweet, MP, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced an investment from the Government of Canada in the Brott Music Festival for its National Academy Orchestra arts training program.

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