The House of Commons will resume on Monday, coming back from its winter break. For Souris-Moose Mountain MP Robert Kitchen, there will be a few things he will be watching for, particularly one thing that could have a number of impacts within the riding. 

“One of the things that's most important to me is the recent announcement by this government about two pieces of just transition legislation that they've been talking about,” Kitchen noted. “They’ve been talking about just transition for almost eight years now, and they continually kick it down the road, so it’ll be interesting to see what that says.” 

The just transition concept was included in the framework of the Paris Agreement on climate change and is said to involve preparing the workforce for a low-carbon economy while minimizing the impact on the labour market, identifying and supporting economic opportunities and putting workers and their communities at the forefront of the discussions.  

Details on what the just transition legislation would look like in Canada haven’t been announced as of yet, which is concerning for Kitchen since it will likely have an impact on the energy sector in his riding – particularly in Estevan and Coronach.  

"I had a conversation with basically the Vice President of the CCS Knowledge Center, Beth Valiaho, and one of the things she said to me is on the issue of the word just transition,” Kitchen said. “Ultimately, when you talk about that that just transition implies an abrupt change.” 

Kitchen noted that an abrupt change would be bad for the region, and he would rather have a change in the phrasing of the issue. 

"We need to change that to making it evolution and talk about the evolution of oil and gas,” Kitchen added, noting that evolution implies innovation, which is what will be needed.  

The price of food is another concern for Kitchen.  

“When you look at it, you know, 52 percent of Canadians don’t expect their wages to keep up with this inflation,” he pointed out. “This is quite challenging, you know. They talk about 58 percent of Canadians have had to cut back on purchasing groceries to cope with the high-interest rates.” 

Another concern that Kitchen will be looking to have addressed during the upcoming session includes Bill C-21, which involves firearms.