St. John’s East MP Jack Harris has been given a number of extra duties in his role as a critic for the federal New Democratic Party.
Harris’s critic roles include foreign affairs, public safety, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and defence.
Harris says the foreign affairs portfolio is particularly important.
“The approach has to be, what is Canada’s role internationally. As far as my approach, it’s early days. I’m looking forward to comprehensive briefings on the various matters at hand,” he said.
“Canada has an important place in the world, moreso with the uncertainty in international relations with the unpredictability of some of the events like what’s going to happen to the U.K. and our relationship with the United States, with the new NAFTA.”
He says his role is in Parliament and he doesn’t expect to have a seat at any negotiating tables related to the issues at this point.
Harris was re-elected to the House of Commons in October’s federal election. He previously served as MP for the riding from 2008-15 before being defeated by Liberal Nick Whalen.
Harris says there’s always a balance between critic roles and as representative for St. John’s East.
“Each member of Parliament has responsibility beyond representation. The first job is to represent constituents, and that involves being a voice for the riding and for Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.
The House of Commons opens next week for the first time under a new minority government.