Collaboration between parties is key moving forward with Standing Committee on Agriculture

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Kody Blois, Liberal Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, N.S., was recently named chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in the House of Commons.

Blois joined RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney to break down the context of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, and what kind of work they do.

“We’re parliamentarians that are representative of the composition in the house. So there’s 12 members on the committee. Six are members of the Liberal Party, the governing party chairs,” he says. “We have four members from the Conservative party, a member from the Bloc Quebecois and a member from the NDP.”

The committees are their own devices in the sense that they get to decide themselves what they want to study, Blois says. “For members like myself that are on governing caucus, it’s an opportunity for us to talk about ideas and initiatives that are important and also use the committee as a mechanism to highlight the government’s work, but also highlight where we can do better.”

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau is not a member of the Standing Committee; however, the ties are still close, and the dialogue is open, as her parliamentary secretary is a part of the committee.

“There’s certainly close collaboration from our side in the sense that there is dialogue between committee members, and the Minister of Agriculture. Of course, the parliamentary secretary sits on the committee,” he explains. “There are, I would say, ongoing conversations between it. And I know we’ve been with the critic roles on the opposition parties, they have regular dialogue with Marie-Claude.”

As Blois explains, another crucial point to the committee is the collaboration between the different parties, as the Agriculture Committee is known for its collaborative work.

“I think the point I raised when I was elected is that each member is going to bring their own ideology or perspective to the table, the parties are going to have their policy positions. But if we can do so in a way that is always reminding ourselves that we’re doing this in the interest of Canadian farmers, ranchers, or producers, I think we’re going to have successful outcomes,” he notes.

Check out the full conversation between Kody Blois and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, below:

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