MEDICINE HAT, AB – American mid-term elections don’t usually cause much of a stir in Canada, but that’s not the case this year.
As voters in the United States head to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new House of Representatives and part of the Senate, locals are keeping a watchful eye on the election.
Medicine Hat College political science instructor Jim Groom said more Canadians are taking note this year for one particular reason.
“I think it's hard to ignore the Trump factor, he's made a big impact with everyone,” said Groom. “He's got some successes but he's crossed so many people, especially Canadians with the new trade agreement.”
Earlier this fall, the new United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement was signed with one of the agreed upon pieces being that Canada would have to give up 3.6 percent of their dairy market to American producers.
One of those people that still feels crossed is local dairy farmer Gerald Weiss, who is still angry the Republican-led USMCA is causing his industry to lose a share of the dairy market.
“There's a lot of concern in the industry about where it might lead us to and where we're at,” said Weiss. “Some of the infringements that it's going to be doing on our market are going to be quite significant.”
According to Groom, projections show a strong chance that the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Although he said it’s probably not at the top of their list, Groom said a Democrat-led House could open the door for a review of the tri-lateral agreement.
“If we get a Democratic house, they may look at it and say, ‘Just to oppose Trump, we're not going to sign this off until we get some things we want as well,’” he said.
However, Weiss said he doesn’t see that happening.
“Unfortunately, I think the damage is done as far as our negotiation or trade deal with the U.S. is concerned,” he said.
On Facebook, CHAT News asked people if they will be following the results of the mid-term election. Over 200 people responded by Tuesday night, with 51 percent saying they were.
Weiss said he’s hoping to see change in the House of Representatives, but believes the Canadian dairy industry will be left in the dust either way.
“I kind of hope the Democrats do a little bit better, but I don't think there's any benefit either way to most dairy producers or most Canadian farmers,” he said.
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