Weekly Commentary  

Election fever

I sure am reading and hearing a whole lot about a federal election coming at us. You too?

In case you're wondering, we're not the ones pounding the drum. Our feeling is that we should be continuing the focus on growing the economy and maintaining a climate that will see ongoing opportunities for jobs and financial security for Canadians.

That approach seems to be working fairly well for us. Canada continues to be seen as something of a model for how to steer an economy through challenging financial times globally.

As I've said before, the things and the ideas that matter most to you as my constituents are the items we try to forge into productive policy instruments.

Naturally I can't guarantee that the wish or suggestion of every citizen in the Okanagan, Nicola and Highland Valleys will become a matter of law or statute. However I do try to distill into workable ingredients the main streams of insights which I get from you as we meet and stay in touch around the riding.

On that note, I am not hearing a surge of chorus calls for a general election. What I hear is a sort of "Well, an election if necessary but not necessarily an election".

This sentiment seems to cross party lines here at home. There is some needed legislation to work on right now in Parliament and more initiatives to explore that are at the discussion and committee stage.

There are items being brought forward by members of all parties that have the potential for improving the lives of Canadians. Among ourselves as MP's we certainly do not agree on all of the policy positions of all parties. But we are able to find common ground on a number of items that are worth pursuing.

As I've shared with you, we are right in the midst of putting together a Budget that must be able to steer us through the ongoing challenges of a still fragile global recovery. I am not divulging any Cabinet confidences by telling you that Minister Flaherty will want to table that Budget not too late in this Spring Session on Parliament Hill.

Whether or not the Opposition parties will use that as an opportunity to force a vote of non-confidence and trigger a federal election will remain to be seen. It is somewhat disconcerting to hear political leaders say they are going to vote against the Budget before they even see it.

However, if they firmly believe that is what the voters want them to do then it’s clearly their democratic right to take that approach. You may be interested to know I don't hear an endorsement for that tactic locally from any of my friends or acquaintances who are Liberal, NDP or Green party supporters.

Most people are of the view that something as important as a Federal Budget should at least be looked at before it is condemned. Anyway, democracy is all about choices so we'll have to see which way this one will go.

I'll be in Ottawa early in the week for cabinet meetings. I will have meetings on Friday and Saturday in Vancouver and Victoria and will be available here in the riding for meetings on Wednesday or Thursday. As usual, just contact the office locally or email if there are items of concern where we can work with you.

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