Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidates ready to extol the virtues of their parties

There are four candidates seeking the opportunity to represent the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

By  Ken Alexander

There are four candidates seeking the opportunity to represent the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo (KTC) Riding in Ottawa after the election.

Cathy McLeod

The incumbent Conservative candidate says she is ready to run on her record of delivering for the KTC constituents.

“The past seven years has been an honour serving as your member of Parliament and I am extremely proud to have delivered on the priorities of Kamloops, Thompson and the Cariboo. Close to $350 million in federal funding has been invested in strengthening each community in our riding.”

She also extolls the party’s national accomplishments that include:

• Delivering Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which has supported the creation of more than one million net new jobs;

• Reducing the tax burden on Canadian families and seniors to its lowest point in more than 50 years, including the two cuts to the Goods and Services Tax;

• Helping keep Canadians safe through measures such as the Safe Streets and Communities Act;

• Promoting and protecting Canadian values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law; and

• Keeping the government’s promise to balance Canada’s budget in 2015.

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue to invest in the growth of our communities and I hope that I have earned your trust to continue working hard on your behalf.”

McLeod also invites all constituents to visit her campaign office at 285 Seymour Street in Kamloops.

Bill Sundhu

The NDP candidate says he isn’t surprised about timing and the length of the election campaign.

“Stephen Harper uses whatever levers of power he can use to manipulate the system.”

However, he notes the KTC NDP is ready and has been ready for the campaign for a long time because of the possibility of a spring election.

“We think Canadians, as does the residents in the riding, have a clear choice – four more years of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, or the NDP’s plan for change.

“We believe Harper’s plan just isn’t working. It looks like the country is in near recession. We have a record trade deficit and we’re headed for the eighth straight fiscal deficit.”

Sundhu says he and the NDP think more and more Canadians are wanting change and are looking to Tom Mulcair and the NDP to replace Harper and the Conservatives.

“We believe in this riding, although I take nothing for granted, that we are best placed to defeat the Harper Conservatives. It looks like that outside of three or four high-income ridings in the Vancouver area and perhaps one or two on Vancouver Island, where the Green Party is competitive, it looks like a contest between the New Democrats and the Conservatives in the rest of the province.”

Steve Powrie

The Liberal candidate says this election about change.

“All of the polls have shown the majority of Canadians want change and they’re out kicking tires to find out where that change is going to go.

Powrie says the Liberals are offering a progressive, responsive and proactive approach to government where we start by “changing how we elect government but also how we do government.”

“One of the criticisms is the culture of government has become toxic and it’s adversarial and counterproductive. What we’ve seen in the last little while is maintain the status quo. Today, Harper was saying these are temporary effects on the economy and we should wait it out.”

Instead of waiting things out, Powrie says the Liberals are talking about responding to things and basing decisions on reason rather than ideology.

“Fundamentally, we are looking at changing how we do government, and then when we look at the platforms, what we would do in government.

We’re talking about a new relationship between the economy and the environment; respecting the new era in relations between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people; and our role on the global stage. We’ve lost a lot of respect over the last few years because of our take-our-marbles-and-go-home approach when we don’t agree with things.

Matt Greenwood

The Green Party candidate wonders if folks are better off now than they were 10 years ago.

“Canada sure isn’t. We’ve seen our national debt increase by 50% since 2006, our voter turnouts drop, job losses mount, noble parliamentary traditions abused for venal political gain, and our Constitution tattered by laws the founding fathers couldn’t imagine being rammed through Parliament with no debate.”

Through all this, Greenwood says Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pretended his government is “conservative,” but is it?

Consider some traditional conservative values:

• Good fiscal management: the only surplus budgets Harper has ever run were the ones Paul Martin handed him.

• Supporting veterans and troops: is closing offices across the country while endangering lives for photo-ops “support?”

• Respect for taxpayers’ money: Economic Action Plan ads for nonexistent programs and an election almost twice the usual cost.

• Smaller, less-intrusive government: the civil service is now larger than it’s ever been and the federal Cabinet comprises one-third of the entire Conservative caucus.

• Keeping us safe: Bill C-51 has literally made evidence obtained by torture admissible to courts, and the list goes on.

Help put the “conserve” back into conservative, and vote Green.

Ken Alexander is editor of the 100 Mile Free Press.