A change in government means forming new relationships for a advocacy groups like the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA).

But BCCA general manager Kevin Boon said that if the Liberals hold true to pre-election platform positions, the cattle industry will benefit.

One particular issue that the association is concerned with is the U.S.’s country of origin labeling (COOL) legislation. Earlier this year, that the World Trade Organization deemed the law illegally discriminates against Canadian beef. Under the Conservative government, headway had been made in moving to put forward retaliatory sanctions against the Americans.

“[The Liberals] have certainly indicated to us that they were not going to let the COOL situation die, and that they felt retaliation was needed  — and needed sooner rather than later,” said Boon. “Now, this was pre-election, so we’ll see where those promises go, but the indication was good that they intended to follow through on that.”

He said with the framework already in place, the Liberals should not have a problem.

“The impression that we were left with is that they were probably going to pursue it harder than the Conservatives had,” he said. “They have to have the appetite, and I believe they do have the appetite.”

Boon added he was happy to see the new agriculture minister, Lawrence MacAulay, had a practical background to compliment his new portfolio.

MacAulay, an MP from Prince Edward Island, is a former farmer.

“To us, it is very important that he’s got an understanding of agriculture,” said Boon. “Now, how far that reaches into Western agriculture — I think he does have a learning curve . . . Agriculture is agriculture in some aspects, but it is always different depending on geography and the different commodities.”

The other file the lobby group will be watching the Liberals on is the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He said he was hoping the Liberals would carry on the Conservatives work and ratify the agreement.

“The increase in the amount and the ability to trade will generate a lot of jobs, especially across that mid-sector of the income range,” said Boon.

“That is extremely important as to how far-reaching that deal will splinter out, rather than just on our production end of things. You get into making the packing houses sustainable, the marketing, the distribution, the importers, exporters, the whole transportation line — it creates a lot of potential work out there for Canadians.”

In a press release, CCA president Dave Solverson said much the same thing. “The Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) information communicated to CCA indicates that their objectives align with ours in many of these priority areas, including trade, research and workforce issues,” he said. “The CCA looks forward to working with the new ministers to advocate on the issues and policies that are important to the Canadian beef sector.”