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Weekly Commentary  

Twenty-four

What election? Last Thursday morning, twenty-four hours before the vote that was supposed to sink the ship of state, the guessing game was in full swing. Would the NDP be willing to walk off the political plank and force an election?

Would the separatists continue to focus on their overriding goal, the break-up of Canada, and vote to dump the government and would Mr. Ignatieff stick to his plan to vote 'no' and force an election?

Twenty-four hours later, Friday A.M., the whole trauma drama ended, as they say, not with a bang but a whimper. Prime Minister Harper had been clear all along. Canadians did not want an election and the government would not try to trigger one.

We have always been open to sensible economic proposals from other parties. But we would not twist ourselves into a pretzel by accepting any unwise or uneconomic advice just to win some votes in the House of Commons.

The crucial vote that all were watching focused largely on continuing the popular Home Renovation Tax Credit. When the dust had settled the federal Liberals had voted against and the other two parties voted with us.

Now there is speculation that there may be a non-confidence vote sponsored by the Liberals sometime in early October. I can't say if that will happen or not. Our position will remain unchanged. Now is not the time for an election, less than a year after the last one.

Now is the time to focus on economic issues, doing the things that are needed to keep us on the road to recovery.

Talking about things that take place in 24 hour periods, constituents sometimes ask me what types of meetings or events I am available for while I'm home on the weekends. Well, basically, whatever I can fit in.

For an example of what a Saturday at home looks like, here is my actual schedule from the Saturday just passed.

7:30 a.m. - Speak at a breakfast meeting in West Kelowna.

9:00 a.m. - Do the official opening of a Trade Commission Office across the lake in Kelowna.

9:30 a.m. - Depart for Penticton (45 minute drive).

9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. - Dial into conference call (while somebody else is driving) round table, 16 other participants on the line.

10:30 a.m. - Constituency meeting in Penticton, including birthday celebration (and cake of course) for Doreen.

11:00 a.m. - Annual Legion Parade in Okanagan Falls.

11:30 a.m. - Tour the exhibition grounds in Okanagan Falls (purchase a home made cherry pie and try not to eat it on the way home).

12:20 p.m. - Depart for Penticton.

12:45 p.m. - Meet with soccer moms, dads and players at the Adidas Sportsplex in Penticton. Announce funding for facility upgrades.

1:15 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. - Go to Penticton Office for calls to two local Mayors on infrastructure issues. Call my Regional Office in Vancouver to go over proposals with staff on Building Canada and Olympic issues.

2:00 p.m. - Speech at Penticton Library and presentation of plaque acknowledging 100 years of library service to the community.

2:20 p.m. - Depart for Merritt (90 minute drive).

3:40 p.m. - Arrive in Merritt. Announce resources to upgrade water and plumbing systems at the Civic Centre, Aquatic Centre, and Memorial Arena.

3:50 p.m. - Meet with officials from Mountain Music Festival Society.

4:00 p.m. - Depart for Logan Lake (30 min drive).

4:40 p.m. - Meet with Mayor and Council. Discuss issues regarding forestry, summer jobs and infrastructure. Announce funding of $79,000 to repair roofing system of Recreation Centre.

5:00 p.m. - Depart for West Kelowna. Start writing this column en route (don't worry, Doug driving, not me. Okay, worry).

6:30 p.m. - Arrive home, go for run.

8:00 p.m. - Attend Peachland Ambassador event with Val (A fantastic array of teens from all over BC). Try to stay awake during my own speech.

10:30 p.m. - Return home, fall asleep watching news about my speech.

As one national broadcaster says, "that's the kind of day it's been".

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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