In the last federal election, Saskatchewan and Alberta sent zero Liberals to Ottawa, leaving the Prairie Provinces under-represented in cabinet. The government’s answer to the issue was to name Manitoba MP Jim Carr as Special Representative for the Prairies.

So, what does that actually mean?

Jim Carr explains that it’s his role to not only understand Prairie issues but to, in turn, return to Ottawa and advocate on behalf of Prairie Canadians.

Carr says that he’s been consulting with several organizations, universities, and companies, to best assess the critical issues and also the exciting potential for the Prairies.

Having served as minister of both the natural resources and trade portfolios in the past, Carr is well-versed in issues and opportunities surrounding agriculture, oil and gas, and innovation on the Prairies.

Recognizing the expertise and critical mass of experts and private sector leaders in the west, Carr says he will be reporting back with a vision for forward momentum and ambition on the plant and animal protein, AI, biosciences, agriculture, and renewable energy files.

But Carr also faces an uphill battle: the Liberals don’t have support in the west, and certain files, such as an energy strategy and the carbon tax, run counter to what many in Western Canada want to see out of public policy.

Listen on to hear the full interview with MP Jim Carr and Shaun Haney, and hear Carr’s thoughts on how to do his job well:

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