Freeland visits Michelin to talk trades

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Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, visited the Granton Michelin location last week as part of her tour of speaking to businesses and workers that will be affected by her recent trade deal.

Freeland, a writer, journalist and politician, recently finished negotiating what is being called the new NAFTA deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico. She has been making her way around the country during negotiations and afterwards to talk with those who will be affected by the trade negotiation.

“It was really inspiring to me to meet some of the people that will benefit from the trade agreement that we agreed (on) in principle at the end of September,” said Freeland. “That is just very satisfying and it gives real meaning to our work to talk to some of the people whose jobs are now secure, thanks to the fact that we have a new NAFTA agreement with the United States.”

Freeland spoke to media about how pleased she was that there are plants like the one in Granton that will be expanding in the future as the Granton plant recently announced a new project that will bring new jobs to the county. It will be the creation of a new line of winter tires for Michelin that has not yet been named.

“During the last election campaign, we talked a lot about trying to create opportunities for young people to stay here if they want to so they don’t have to move out west to find work and when I’m shaking hands and giving hugs to my friends from high school and my old basketball teammates I know that this is an important employer, and to see the expansion means there are going to be that many more folks that get to stay home,” said Central Nova MP Sean Fraser.

Freeland noted that the deal allows Canadians to continue to have access to the U.S. markets. For plants like Michelin that export a lot of goods to the United States, these trades will continue unhindered.

“What I heard today is that people that are here at this plant in Pictou County are well informed about the topic,” said Freeland. She added that in Pictou County, along with all over Canada, she has been hearing from a lot of people that are well informed and have been closely following the agreements and developments. “I think Canadians are really smart … This really means that the great jobs that people have here are assured.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland visited the Granton Michelin plant last week with Central Nova MP Sean Fraser to speak to those who will be affected by the new NAFTA trade agreement.  (Brimcombe photo)