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December 2020 Update

Barlow's Bill C-205 Debated in Parliament 
(Biosecurity on Farms)

My Private Member's Bill completed the first hour of debate in Parliament on Thursday November 26th in the House of Commons.

Bill C-205, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act, addresses the critical issue of securing the biosecurity of our food supply, especially when people trespass onto farm property and at facilities. It will also increase the penalties for groups and organizations who encourage individuals to threaten the health of animals, workers and farm families.

This Bill does not limit an individual’s right to peacefully protest on public property.

“When activists trespass onto farm property and facilities they may not fully grasp the consequences of their actions,” said Barlow.

“First and foremost, they are endangering the safety of livestock, farmers, their families and workers.

“Protecting Canada’s food supply is critical – viruses like African Swine Fever (ASF), Avian Influenza (AI), Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) pose a real threat to Canadian agriculture.

“These biosecurity threats can decimate poultry operations, livestock herds and devastate our industry and economy.

“We have seen the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the entire Canadian economy, animal-borne diseases like ASF and FMD would equally devastate our agriculture sector from farm to table,“ concluded MP Barlow.

Bill C-205 was first introduced in Parliament on February 18th 2020, however, debate was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of Parliament.

Strengthening biosecurity measures for trespassers is something farmers, ranchers, food processors, farm groups and commodity organizations all support.

My Bill received strong support from Conservatives, Bloc and NDP during debate. 


Watch my speech on my Bill C-205 here
John Barlow appointed Chair of Canada-Scotland Friendship Group
I am pleased to share some exciting news,
The Canada-Scotland Friendship Group has been reconstituted on Parliament Hill and I am honoured to be appointed as friendship group chair.

Originally founded in 2011 and relaunched on October 27th, 2020, the group is a nonpartisan committee consisting of over 40 Members of Parliament and Senators, chaired by MP John Barlow (CPC), with executive committee members represented by MP John McKay (Lib), MP Marie-France Lalonde (Lib), MP Daniel Blaikie (NDP), MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Bloc), MP James Cumming (CPC), and Senator David Wells.

At the first meeting, members brought forward important topics of discussions for the group on which to focus. The topics include the upcoming election in Scotland, partnerships between Universities, agriculture, trade and economic partnerships as well as learning more about how Scottish Parliament functions.

At the end of the meeting, the friendship group reiterated the importance of further advancing the ties between Canada and Scotland, and strengthening our shared values though the work of this committee.


Canada and Scotland share a profound relationship joined together by family links, strong business and trade relationships as well as shared values, culture and history. Through meaningful work and discussions, the Canada-Scotland Friendship Group will embark on strengthening the bond between our proud countries. During challenging times, friends support one another. This could not be more true than it is today and is certainly symbolized through the reconstitution of the Canada-Scotland Friendship group in 2020. It underpins our deep and meaningful friendship between our two countries, and continued support during the most trying of times.”
John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills, Friendship Chair (2020)

As a proud Canadian with strong Scottish roots, I am delighted that the Canada-Scotland (Parliamentary) Friendship Group will support our enduring friendship, shared cultural history and values, with a strong commitment to forging new relationships. I am looking forward to being part of this effort and welcome it as new beginnings of a wonderful opportunity that will allow Canadian and Scottish parliamentarians to work together
Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke North, inaugural Friendship Group Chair (2011)

During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to be able to rely on long established international friendships. Scotland and Canada are proudly and inextricably linked. It is wonderful that 40 MPs and Senators from across Canada and the political spectrum, have come together to recognise the importance of re-establishing this partnership. Our enduring friendship through this Group allows both countries to look at our modern-day relationship and identify opportunities of mutual benefit, including how we build back better.
– Mike Russell, Scottish Government External Affairs Minister

The setting up this Group between our two parliaments is such good news. The friendships between our countries and our parliaments is real and deep. Indeed, when this Parliament was set up in 1999 we looked at how other legislatures across the world work so there is a little bit of Ottawa’s procedures and practices here in Edinburgh. I very much look forward to meeting with the Group members at the earliest opportunity.”
Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament

What's new from the Hill..

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is a very personal issue for Canadians. Thank you to all those who have written to my office, sharing your views of this legislation. As a result of your input and my own concerns I voted against Bill C-7 at Third Reading on Dec. 10. I also had the opportunity to speak to C-7 in the House of Commons, and encourage those who are interested to watch my speech below. 

Medical Assistance in Dying: Bill C-7

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for Businesses
Applications are now open for businesses to apply for the new Federal rent subsidy. Tenants can apply directly, you do not need to go through your landlord. More information: 

Up Debt Creek and Without a Paddle.
My response to the Fall Economic Statement

The metaphorical Canadian boat is sinking, and the Liberals are looking to spend money on green retrofits before plugging the hole in the hull.

When the ship’s taking on water, bailing is important, but plugging holes is essential. The Liberals have managed do neither in their fiscal update released on November 30th.

In just nine months, the federal deficit has escalated from $19 billion to $381 billion reaching a historic deficit of almost $400 billion. For the first time in our history Canada’s debt has surpassed $1 trillion.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has Canada threatening to return Canada to the debt crisis of the 1990s and no end in sight.

Canada’s unemployment rate is 8.9%, the second worst in the G-7 (after Italy), and almost double the UK unemployment rate. That is despite Justin Trudeau spending more money than any other country in the OECD.

This week’s economic statement wasn’t about our economy – it was a political pandering wish list. A “honey I’ll do it later” list if you will.

For the sectors hardest hit, the announcement included no details on what criteria will be used to qualify for the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program. How much will the loan be? Is every restaurant, hotel and bar in the country eligible? The government says it will announce these details “soon”, but we’ve heard these promises all too many times before only to be disappointed. Business owners cannot afford to wait with bated breath.

This economic update had no details, no timelines, and provides no certainty for entrepreneurs or their workers. With no common-sense solutions provided and no clear path towards economic recovery it makes it nearly impossible for business owners to plan.

There is no question, assistance programs are necessary to help Canadians who lost their jobs and businesses struggling during a pandemic.

In consultation with our constituents, Conservatives proposed numerous ways to improve those programs. The Liberals listened on some, such as increasing the wage subsidy to 75%. On others they painfully delayed for months such as adjusting the Canada Emergency Business Account so business owners and farmers who use personal banking accounts could qualify and revamping the rent relief program.

However, in announcing the economic update rather than dealing with the crippling federal deficit, struggling Canadian businesses and unemployment, Liberals focused on spending $3.16 billion over 10 years to plant two billion trees, despite the fact their government failed to plant a single tree of the two billion promised during the last election.

The Liberals have even tossed some hush money to Alberta through increased fiscal stabilization payments, while simultaneously kneecapping our energy sector. Trudeau thinks he’s feeding the crying baby or patting a child on the head, but that’s not who Albertans are or what we want.

No, Albertans do not want hand outs. We want to once again be the economic engine of this country, develop our natural resources under the most ethical standards in the world, empower our entrepreneurship and export our world-class technology and skills around the globe.

While Liberals want Canadians to believe there’s clear sailing ahead the reality is a storm is coming and no one’s at the helm.

Trudeau and the Liberal government need to get out of the way and let someone else take the wheel.

Tour of Centre Block 
I had the chance to tour Centre Block restorations, the historic Parliament building which was closed 2 years ago for renovations. Still lots of work to do, and is estimated to take more than 10 years. 

Local news to Celebrate...

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in High River! Had so much fun watching Christine at Outlines Window Painting create this festive masterpiece on our office windows. Thank you for sharing your talent, and helping to spread cheer and joy in our community.
Support Local. 
Local businesses grow our communities and create jobs. More than that, they are our neighbours and the pulse of our rural community. There is a face and a story behind each business. There is a passion a drive inside every shop.
No matter how difficult the circumstances, small business owners truly are the foundation of our communities. Even just one purchase, when amplified across the whole community, could make a big difference for the business owner, their staff and their families.
Shop local. Share local. Follow local online. Every like and share on social media goes a long way to help spread their message. 

During this giving season and, indeed, all year long, we can give back to our local small businesses by choosing to shop local. It is our local business owners who, in good times and bad, step up when called upon to support our communities. I hope everyone who can, will make the choice to support our local small businesses now and throughout the year.
Outstanding! Congratulations to two local boys, Peyton Krebs
 from Okotoks and Dylan Holloway from Bragg Creek, both named to 
Team Canada for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Our towns and our nation will be cheering loudly and proudly! 

Foothills Youth Advisory Council

It has been a great fall season meeting virtually with our Foothills Youth Advisory Council. These young people from across the riding bring great insight on issues important to them. Thank you for your time, engagement and knowledge. 
Two Foothills Business Owners Speak At Health Committee: Mental Health
I was very proud to welcome two of our Foothills business owners to appear at Health Committee and sharing how COVID has impacted mental health from a business owner perspective.

Both gave such incredible and impactful testimonies to Committee.

I would welcome you to take a moment and watch the video, it will change your day.

Thank you Lisa Watts from Hub Town Brewing and Andrew Gustafson from Natural High Fitness
WATCH: COVID has impacted the mental health of business owners 
A Message from 
Nanton Gain Elevators

| Written by Leo Wieser, Becky Scott, and Pam Woodall |
Photo credit L.Stuart
What makes us strong as a people?  Our sense of place?  Forging new paths towards a greater good?  Or is it our ability to come together as a community – both in times of emergency and celebration?  I would say it's all of these, and nowhere is this more evident than in Nanton, a small vibrant town referred to at various times as “Tap Town”, “authentic Alberta” and “on the way to everywhere”.
In Nanton, as in much of Alberta, agriculture and ranching have been a way of life for more than a century.  Few remnants over those years remain, but in Nanton, the towering grain elevators that jut up into the sky, welcoming residents and visitors alike to our town, stand as sentinels – the remaining three of an original seven – and the last of a dwindling number across the prairies.  Threatened with demolition in 2001, a group of citizens came together with a "Save One" campaign.  In a surprise move they saved all three, aptly illustrating the group’s strength, recognition of sense of place, and the ability to work towards something better and bigger than themselves.
At the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre Society’s AGM in August, a predominantly new board of directors was elected. Inspired and energized by the same sense of purpose as those who came before, members have been busy cleaning the spaces up, doing repairs, rearranging the museum, and preparing for the restart of public tours in 2021.  Thanks to support from the Town of Nanton and multiple businesses, we began programming with an event on Hallowe'en – the projection on the side of the elevator of the 1922 silent film Nosferatu. With a slight chill to the evening, it turned into a drive-in movie theatre, with travelers pulling off Hwy 2 north to circle around and check out what was going on. Much excitement was generated from this event, including a list of film requests, all of which we are considering for our 2021 season.  In addition to more screenings and regular tours, we’re also considering music events, and the second installment of the "Still Standing Festival".
We have a plan; we are moving ahead.  We are in conversations with the Town about moving our entryway, and working towards getting more rail track and rail cars on the west side of the building. We are in conversations with the Province about historical designation.

Ultimately, we want to be the center of civic activity and engagement for Nanton and area. It meant a great deal to the board to have our MP, John Barlow, come for a visit and listen to this vision and our plans for the elevators. We believe the grain elevators can become a much bigger tourism draw beyond our borders, and to have federal interest and support for our plans is vital in achieving that goal. But without the support of the community and its ability to also envision what success could look like, it will be an even more challenging road to take.
Here’s our ask:
-if you’re on social media, please follow ours, and share when you can
(Facebook: @nantonelevators, Instagram: @nanton_elevators)
-visit our website (, where you can get more detailed information on events, campaigns, and how to donate
-become a member of the Society; this not only helps us financially, but has added benefits to you including tours, newsletters, and more
-volunteer (email
-attend our events and help promote them
-be an ambassador
When we succeed in our vision for the elevators, all of Nanton and area succeeds. It means more traffic, more business, more sales for everyone.

A thriving community with cool things going on. It was said that grain elevators were the gathering place of their day and we aim to bring that back.  In this vein, we will be lighting up the elevators for the holiday season, and in doing so hope to bring some joy to the end of a difficult year.  This is our coming together in celebration and the beginning of new days for Nanton’s iconic sentinels – elevators that have been witness to years of survival, and evidence of the strength of our community.

Leo Wieser, Becky Scott, and Pam Woodall
Photo credits                                Top Right: L.Stuart      |     Bottom images:  Leo Wieser 
Copyright © 2020 John Barlow MP, All rights reserved.

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