By Jasmine Franklin
The old journalistic voice of Canadian politics was loud and clear explaining why another election would be damaging to Canada’s economy.
“It would be a disaster for Canada because it’s just starting to bounce back from the recession,” Senator Mike Duffy said. “We’ve just started to get going and putting a hold on that would be irresponsible.”
Duffy told the Ponoka News on Oct. 13 that the Liberal’s threat this fall for a fourth election in five years is merely the political ramblings of two men, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae, the opposition critic for foreign affairs, who are holding the country at ransom.
“The way they see it is there’s one strike and then you’re out,” Duffy said. “They are the ones pushing for another election.”
The Conservative government feels a fall election would damage Canada’s rebuilding economy in a number of ways. First, the Conservative bill that includes a “recession-fighting” Home Renovation Tax Credit was opposed by the Liberals. The credit would help homeowners, lumber producers and supply stores. The Liberals also voted against the Conservative’s extended tax deferral that would be available to farmers in drought and flood regions to cope with extreme weather conditions, much like many farmers felt this harvest season.
The Conservatives are also working toward justice and crime prevention legislation that will eliminate statutory release for serious offenders who have served only two-thirds of their sentence but may be released by law — even if rehabilitation hasn’t been achieved.
Talks of a fall election arose after Ignatieff presented a motion of non-confidence against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government Oct. 1.
“After talking with Canadians, they are against an election and they are confused,” Duffy said. “They just don’t understand.”
MP Blaine Calkins invited Duffy to speak to the Wetaskiwin Conservative Association fundraiser in Lacombe Oct. 13.
“He’s a trusted source of information,” Calkins said. “We’re privileged to have him here.”
The speech was presented to party members only.
Duffy became a senator representing his home of Prince Edward Island in December 2008 after a long career in journalism and political broadcasting. He joined CBC radio’s Parliament Hill — a political TV program — in 1974, added to the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1994 and eventually landed his own segment Mike Duffy Live with Canadian Television News Channel that continued until the end of 2008.
“The people in Alberta have been tremendous,” Duffy said. “As corny as it sounds, I really believe the closer to land you are the more down to earth you are — it’s restored my faith in mankind.”
Calkins agreed after spending a few weeks in Ottawa handling political business. “It’s easy to get really caught up in Ottawa.”
“The bottom line is people want a better future for their kids and a good economy,” Duffy said. “They want everything our party is putting as number 1.”
For more information on Duffy visit www.mikeduffy.ca.