The NDP's message today: Conservatives are mishandling trade - Macleans.ca

The NDP’s message today: Conservatives are mishandling trade

Little word from the Official Opposition on nationwide Idle No More protests

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Mere hours after a thousands-strong Idle No More rally filled Parliament Hill, the NDP put out a press release. But it had nothing to do with Aboriginal affairs, and instead reminded the political world of the Conservative government’s record on trade.

The Conservative government’s failure to take action to improve our trade competitiveness has resulted in Canada’s merchandise trade deficit quadrupling – from $552 million to $2 billion in November alone.

The party quoted a new report released this morning that charted Canada’s running trade deficit.

According to a Statistics Canada report released today, in November 2012 Canada’s merchandise imports rose by 2.7 per cent and exports fell by 0.9 per cent. The result is Canada’s fourth-largest merchandise trade deficit on record.

Last night, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was set to host a number of Aboriginal chiefs at his residence, Stornoway, but that meeting was cancelled when the chiefs spent the evening at an Assembly of First Nations meeting at Ottawa’s Delta Hotel. Earlier today, Mulcair’s spokesman, George Smith, defended the NDP’s visibility on the Aboriginal file over the last month.

UPDATE: The NDP’s Aboriginal affairs critic, MP Jean Crowder, released a statement saying “it’s time for the government to start listening” to Aboriginal concerns.