By Marianne Curtis
On May 2, voters across Canada will be casting their ballots to elect a new federal government. In Provencher, we have three candidates that have stepped forward to vie for our votes.
Conservative MP Vic Toews has decided to let his name stand for another term after being first elected as Provencher’s member of parliament back in 2000. As a member of Stephan Harper’s government, he has served Minister of Labour, Minister of Justice and most recently, Minister of Safety.
“I have worked hard to deliver results for Provencher and we can see the results of Canada’s Economic Action Plan all across Provencher,” stated Toews. “While there is still work to be done, Provencher like the rest of Canada, has weathered the economic storm better than most.”
If the Harper government is re-elected, Toews is confident that they will continue with the Economic Action Plan.
“Through the Economic Action Plan, Canada has managed to regain almost all of the jobs that were lost, creating over 480,000 net new jobs – this is an impressive record,” Toews adds. “We must ensure that Canada has a stable national government that can provide leadership and keep us on the path toward economic recovery.”
Toews is going to have his work cut out for him during this election. Former provincial MLA Al Mackling has come out of retirement at eight-three to take him after being named the surprise New Democrat Party (NDP) candidate for Provencher.
“I am running because I am very concerned about what is happening in Canada,” Mackling said. “The government has been undermining all of the social fabric we have built over decades – there should be enough resentment out there about where the Harper government is taking this country that change will occur.”
Mackling is no stranger to politics – he spent many years as a MLA and served as a cabinet minister with Edward Schreyer and Howard Pawley.
Toews said he welcomes Mackling into the race and expects a good, clean campaign. He added that he even worked for Mackling as a provincial lawyer when Mackling was in cabinet.
“Al Mackling is a gentleman, and not to be underestimated,” Toews said.
Liberal Candidate Terry Hayward lives in the RM of Springfield with his wife on a farm. His portfolio includes a thirty-three year career in the federal government with Agriculture Canada where he remained “a-political”. He explained that after his retirement in 1996 he saw things he didn’t like so he became involved with the party that he felt would do a better job for Canadians.
“I am running because we need Canada’s democracy to return to one where the people have a voice, where there is respect for our institutions and where the full economic potential of Canada can be realized,” stated Hayward. “Living and working across Canada has shown me the strength and commitment of our people – I’ve spend my entire career working for a better Canada based on good governance.”
While campaigning, he says people do not want a federal election at this time but he is optimistic that change will be seen at the polls.
“I don’t know that anyone wants to have an election right away but this is our democracy, if things are not working well, we go to the polls,” says Hayward. “If the residents feel that the people that have been working for us haven’t really been doing their jobs we will see it at the polls.”
You won’t see any signs erected by Green Party of Canada candidate Janine Gibson because she is standing by her party’s platform of being environmentally conscious, so she is running a “word of mouth” campaign. She remains the only Green Party candidate ever to represent our region in a federal election.
“It just goes to show that we are strong enough now that we can have a candidate in every riding across Canada,” explained Gibson. “If we get a certain percentage of the vote that means people recognize that we need to take care of the environment”
Gibson feels strongly that many of the country’s issues could be resolved if the population took an environmentally conscious look at the country.
“I think people need to pay attention to where their food comes from – this has implications in health care such as some cancers could be prevented with less pesticide use,” explained Gibson. “We also need to be fiscally conservative but let’s also look at things for our grandchildren.”
She stands strongly behind the family farm and agriculture.
Provencher MP and encombant Conservative candidate Vic Toews has breakfast with residents in Middleboro while campaigning.
NDP candidate and former Manitoba Legislative Member Al Mackling has come out of retirement at eight-three to take on Toews in Provencher.
Green Party candidate Janine Gibson campaigns close to her home in Grunthal in a “word of mouth” campaign.