MP ready to deal with coalition threat

The coalition government between the Liberals, NDP and the Bloq Quebecois began after finance minister Jim Flaherty delivered his controversial fiscal update on Nov. 27. The update sparked much discussion and upset in the three parties and the result was a plan to form a coalition government in hopes of changing the outcome.

  • Dec. 10, 2008 7:00 p.m.
Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins is presently focused on the recent coalition government.

Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins is presently focused on the recent coalition government.

The coalition government between the Liberals, NDP and the Bloq Quebecois began after finance minister Jim Flaherty delivered his controversial fiscal update on Nov. 27. The update sparked much discussion and upset in the three parties and the result was a plan to form a coalition government in hopes of changing the outcome.

Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, Blaine Calkins, has been busy dealing with questions, concerns and upset members of his constituency while preparing to travel to Ottawa to face the chaos.

“I have never received more e-mails, faxes, phone calls, etc since I’ve been elected,” said Calkins. “It’s unanimous that they reject the coalition and that they are behind me 100 per cent and I thank them for that.”

Since the coalition government formed and the papers were signed by party leaders Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles DuCeppe, Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Her Excellency the Honurable Michaelle Jean. Harper requested that she allow him a porogument of paliament.

Jean allowed for it and gave this time for Harper to figure out what needs to be done in this situation.

Calkins himself, is grateful for the poroguement of Parliament and believes that this time will allow for people and parties to regroup and come back with a clear and educated mind.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that this is about protecting Canadians’ best interest and I’m glad that the Governor General gave him the time,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for cooler heads to prevail. MPs can go home and hear what is being said by their family, friends and their constituency and they will come back with a refreshed perspective.”

With the poroguement the Conservatives have since promised to present their budget on Jan. 27 with the suggestion it will include a stimulus package and have eliminated some of the most contentious issues from the fiscal update.

“The Prime Minister has offered an olive branch,” said Calkins. “Hopefully they will take that opportunity.”

During this time Calkins has and will continue to listen to the needs and concerns of fellow Canadians and help educate the constituency in the facts and happenings related to the coalition government. With 77 Liberal MPs and 37 New Democrats, plus the support of 4 9 Bloc Quebecois members the three parties, in total will have more sears than the 143 held by the Tories. Calkins believes that getting this message across to Canadians is important to their knowledge.

“I will be making sure that Canadians and the constituency understand that the coalition still poses a threat to our country,” he said. “This is a very divisive issue and listening to what the constituents say is a must.”

Calkins says that the announcement of a coalition government came as a surprise and was disheartened to learn that the NDP party and the Bloq Quebecois had already been planning on banding together.

“We did not see this coming,” he said. “We had no idea that the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois had preplanned and conspired to take over the government at the earliest opportunity.”

Calkins was especially surprised at the Liberal involvement in this plan.

“Liberals who have claimed to be a federalist party have seemed to have abandoned their beliefs and formed a coalition,” he said. “I think Canadians should be very wary of the coalition, whose problems are already beginning to show.”

Calkins believes that if any good were to come of these recent political happenings it would be an increase of interest in politics, especially with young people.

“I think Canadians were generally disengaged about politics,” he said. “If anything, this coalition may encourage Canadians to become far more engaged in the next election.”

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