Ottawa - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced today that the Hon. Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Brampton South) has agreed to serve as Critic for Small Business and Tourism in the Opposition Shadow Cabinet.
"I am honoured by the confidence Mr. Ignatieff has placed in me" said Mr. Bains. "I'm getting to work right away to ensure that this Government provides effective support to these critical parts of our economy".
Small business accounts for 99% of all businesses in Canada and tourism generates revenues of nearly $75 billion per year (2008 figures). This includes 18,105 small businesses in Mississauga and 7664 small businesses in Brampton (2008 figures).
The portfolio has also been the subject of controversy when Small Business and Tourism Minister Diane Ablonczy was disciplined for providing support to Toronto's annual Pride Festival against the wishes of socially conservative members of the Government.
Mr. Bains has experience advocating for the interests of small business and the tourism industry having followed related issues during past terms as Critic for Public Works and International Trade. Previous positions have included Critic for Treasury Board, Natural Resources and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister under Paul Martin's Government. Mr. Bains also currently serves as Chair of Platform Development for the Liberal Party of Canada.