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Foothills M.P. and Associate Ag Critic, John Barlow, says we need an Agriculture Minister who is vocal and willing to fight for Canada's priorities.

Barlow says Prime Minister Trudeau has planned another trade mission to India in February.

"But once again, when he puts out his list of priorities, the pulse and lentil issue for Canadian pulse and lentil producers is not on the agenda, and once again the Agriculture Minister is not joining that Liberal trade mission."

He says he's been hearing concern from the ag community in regards to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay's involvement in trade discussions.

"We've been asked by our agriculture producers across Canada, can you put out an APB on our Agriculture Minister, he's just been missing in action. Minister MacAulay has been happy to tell anybody who will listen that he's not at the table for the negotiations with NAFTA with TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)."

He says, one of the keys to the Conservatives success when it came to trade deals was having a two-pronged approach.

"We had our Trade Minister, Ed Fast, but we also had our Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, at the table. They always were ensuring any agreements we had benefited the Canadian manufacturing sector, Canadian business, but also Canadian agriculture and agri-business."

Since Minister MacAulay has not been a part of trade discussion, Barlow is left with two questions.

"Does the Prime Minister not trust this Agriculture Minister?, or is agriculture not a priority for the Liberal government? Either one of those is unfortunate."

Parliament reconvened for the spring sitting on Monday.

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