Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of stories about the federal candidates in the Sarnia-Lambton and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex ridings for the Oct. 21 election
Lianne Rood has a passion for agriculture and politics and she’s hoping that translates into becoming the next MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.
Rood grew up on a 1,000-acre vegetable farm in Grand Bend and after graduating from university, she worked in Ottawa as a political staffer for the Stephen Harper Government for six years.
Rood worked for the man she’s hoping to replace, Bev Shipley, who is retiring after four terms in office as well the Minister of Agriculture and his parliamentary assistant while the Conservatives were in power.
Rood wants to return to Ottawa as Lambton-Kent-Middlesex’s MP to help advance agriculture.
“In the agriculture industry, folks have felt over the last four years were haven’t seen progress on agricultural files. We’ve seen things taken away.”
Rood points out dairy farmers lost 3.25 per cent of quota during the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US under President Donald Trump. And she says farmers are hurting as markets are being cut off by China. It’s imposed bans on canola, beef and pork. Most analysts say the bans have nothing to do with Canada’s products but is retaliation for Canadian authorities arresting a tech executive at the request of the United States.
Rood, however, says the Liberal government bears part of the blame.
“What you saw (during the NAFTA negotiations) is a president standing up for his country…we did not see that. We saw our government walk away from the bargaining table…I didn’t see my prime minister standing up for me…Unfortunately we got left with this,” she says adding, poor working relationships with China are also at the root of the ban on canola, beef and pork. “We haven’t seen real leadership take place where we were working collaboratively instead of pitting each other against one another.”
As she knocks on doors in the riding the size of PEI, Rood says most families are talking about life becoming less affordable. The Conservatives plan to cut the Liberal’s carbon pricing plan to make life more affordable. Economist around the world recognize carbon pricing is one of the main ways of changing people’s behaviour particularly when it comes to transportation. Rood says it doesn’t work in Canada because rural communities end up being penalized because they don’t have public transit to access.
And she says the Conservatives have released the most comprehensive package to combat climate change which Rood says will make the biggest polluters pay and offer credits to homeowners who renovate to make their homes more energy efficient.
Rood adds the Conservatives will encourage green technology and then share it with the world.
“We want to leave this world a better place than we find it and we’re committed to taking this global.”
Rood is running against Jesse McCormick (L), Dylan McKay (NDP), Anthony Li (Green), Bria Atkins (PPC) and Rob LaLande (VCP) in the Oct. 21 vote.