Greg Kerr column: Canadians having impact abroad

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Anyone following Canadian financial and economic matters knows about Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada. Those same people will also know that by next summer, he will leave that job to become governor of the Bank of England. Certainly he will be missed in Canada, but this is a bonus for world finances because he is that good.

I believe this is the first time in the Bank of England’s 318-year history that they have selected someone from outside their country. The banking system there has been in deep trouble for some time and needs a significant overhaul. It is a big challenge, but he is up to the task.

He did point out that Canada’s banking system is strong and our economy is well-positioned to grow in the coming years. He also credits the Canadian Government initiatives for making us one of the leaders in the G7.

As the British banking systems strengthens in the coming years it will help stabilize the fragile global economy. We will be hearing a lot more about Mark Carney in the months and years to come.

I had a wonderful visit recently from two students who attend Middleton High School, Austin Brown and Christine Spidle, who were in Ottawa to participate in the Grow Canada Conference. They were selected to be part of this important agriculture gathering as the Canadian Seed Trade Associations Future Influencers.

They were part of a featured panel discussion in front of 500 delegates to express their views on modern agriculture. Congratulations to Christine and Austin; it is encouraging to see you take such an interest in the future of agriculture.

Trade agreements are in the news a great deal lately because our government is actively negotiating a number of potential arrangements. Much of Canada’s economy is based on trade with other nations and both market opportunities and competition continue to grow.

One such agreement nearing the final stages is CETA-the Canada-European Trade Agreement. Europe is a massive market to sell to, and at the moment, there are a number of tariff barriers that make many of our products more expensive there.

Europe is the world’s biggest fish and seafood market, with 500 million consumers. Current tariffs on Canadian seafood products average 11 percent with peaks of 25 percent. These tariffs would be eliminated under a Canada-EU trade agreement.

Other benefits to Nova Scotians would happen in agriculture, wood products, chemicals and plastics, services and other areas. Obviously it is a two-way street and opens up opportunities for Europe in Canada. The end result is a balanced deal that provides benefits to all parties involved. We will see growth and jobs in our economy over time.

We get a lot of delegations visiting Ottawa to meet and inform Members of Parliament about their priorities and what role the Federal Government may play. One organization that met a number of us recently was the Canadian Association of Community Living.

Their focus is to increase economic inclusion of Canadians with intellectual disabilities. They are determined to involve more disabled Canadians in the labour force, which will advance economic productivity and social inclusion in Canada.

They know that with the right training and support these willing Canadians will be positive contributors in the work place. It is a very important initiative that government and the private sector have to take seriously.

As I said, we get many groups and organizations visiting us in Ottawa and I want to mention one more that visited recently, the Canadian Nurses Association. I mention them because they fully support a publicly funded health system. They also believe there can be more effective ways to deliver a huge system that is under stress.

One item that stuck out and I commend them for is more of an effort to keep people healthy. There are many causes of poor health that can be avoided and we must work together to achieve that goal. One thing is certain we have to take more responsibility for our own good health. 

Organizations: Bank of England, Bank of Canada, Canadian Government Middleton High School Canadian Seed Trade Associations Future Influencers Federal Government Canadian Association of Community Living

Geographic location: Canada, Ottawa, Europe Austin Nova Scotians

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