The prime minister got a true farm education Thursday as he paid a visit to Saskatchewan.
Justin Trudeau started the day south of Regina at the farm of Todd Lewis, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.
He climbed into the cab of a combine and sprayer to learn about the role precision technology plays in modern farming, calling an air drill “very cool” and the GPS “like a video game.”
Speaking to a full house at the community rink in nearby Gray, Trudeau thanked farmers for their hard work that they should be “proud of their rural roots.”
More than a century after his family settled near Gray, Lewis couldn’t quite believe the prime minister came to visit.
He is happy to see farming get some federal recognition.
“That’s not just in Saskatchewan but right across the country, there is a lot of work due for recognition that agriculture is part of the solution, not the problem,” Lewis maintained.
The Prime Minister is greeted by Todd Lewis. The farm started in 1903. pic.twitter.com/EmSG3iFKcz
— Sarah Mills (@smillsSK) April 27, 2017
While many people in the area came out to get a glimpse of the prime minister and to hear him speak, not everyone liked what they heard, particularly on the issue of carbon tax.
“If we are subjected to a carbon tax and some of our competitors are not, it puts us at a disadvantage,” farmer Todd Brunas argued. “It is an issue for sure, but there is lots of them that we have to contend with, so it is just something on our horizon I guess we might have to deal with.”
The carbon tax wasn’t the only item the prime minister faced questions on.
Asked about the issue with NAFTA and the rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump, Trudeau stressed the importance of having “a good working relationship” with America, but that he “would stand up for Canadian interests.”
In relation to the recent Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that non-Catholic students should not be funded to attend Catholic schools, Trudeau believed any action should be left with the province.
The ruling has implications not just in Saskatchewan, but thousand of families right across the country.
From Gray, Trudeau travelled with Regina-Qu’Appelle MP Ralph Goodale to Regina, where he visited a city fire hall and met with students at Miller Comprehensive High School, a school his father visited 45 years ago.