MP Don Rusnak Heads to Washington – Cross Border Talks

Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay Rainy River, attended the 18th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this week in New York City. The Forum, held this year from April 22 to May 3, is a meeting of delegates from around the world who come together to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. The theme this year is “Traditional knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection”. The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Canada to maintain its leadership role in the world as an important partner in promoting the human rights and dignity of all people around the globe. Rusnak participated in discussions surrounding issues such as Indigenous languages preservation, rights recognition, environmental conservation and and the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. Maintaining Canada’s strong presence on the international stage creates opportunities at home, and brings more opportunities for economic growth and development to all the communities of Thunder Bay--Rainy River. Quotes “It was an honour to attend the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples in New York this week alongside several of my colleagues. This year’s theme of Traditional Knowledge allowed for the forum to have some important conversations about language preservation and the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. Maintaining Canada’s strong presence on the global stage creates opportunities at home, and I look forward to building on the relationships forged during the Forum to create new benefits for all the communities of Thunder Bay Rainy River.” -Don Rusnak Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay Rainy River

OTTAWA – Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, will travel to Washington, D.C. this week to discuss important cross-border issues facing Northwestern Ontario with US Congressional Representatives.

“I’m looking forward to travelling to Washington this week to talk about the cross-border issues that matter to the people of Thunder Bay—Rainy River with my Congressional counterparts. Canada and the United States have a special relationship, and I plan to build on this to promote our region’s interests while exploring new opportunities for collaboration and growth. Through dialogue, we can build a more prosperous future for people in both countries” states Rusnak.

Rusnak will meet with Representative Pete Stauber of Minnesota’s Eight District, which borders Thunder Bay-Rainy River. This meeting will focus on several issues, including the importance of allowing the transit of Canadian cattle and agricultural goods through Minnesota to Canadian markets, the need to find a solution for the taxation issues facing dual Canadian-American citizens in Canada, and the importance of both regions working together on issues of border security and immigration.

Border crossings is an important issue for regions such as Thunder Bay—Rainy River.  With the federal Government’s announcement of $ 1.18 billion over five years to strengthen border security in Budget 2019, Rusnak looks forward to discussing with his Congressional counterpart areas of further Canada-US collaboration in relation to the Rainy River-Baudette, Pigeon River, and Fort Frances-International Falls Ports of Entry.

Rusnak will also meet with two members of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico’s First District and Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas’ Third District. Both meetings will focus on discussing different aspects of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the importance of its Indigenous-related provisions.

The United States is Canada’s closest ally and largest trading partner, and free trade is an essential to the economic well-being of both nations. Rusnak looks forward to discussing this further with the Representatives.