Winfield’s Rita Dillon to carry Liberal Party colours into political battle

Winfield resident Rita Dillon will be running under the red and white banner of the Liberal Party of Canada on Oct. 14 in hopes of winning the Wetaskiwin riding and taking a seat in the House of Commons.

  • Oct. 8, 2008 11:00 a.m.
Rita Dillon

Rita Dillon

Black Press Staff:

Winfield resident Rita Dillon will be running under the red and white banner of the Liberal Party of Canada on Oct. 14 in hopes of winning the Wetaskiwin riding and taking a seat in the House of Commons.

A resident of the community for the past 14 years, Dillon returned to the academic scene after her children finished their schooling and following the death of her husband in 1999.

“I was dragged into politics by Mr. Harper,” Dillon said when asked what prompted her to run for office. “When Prime Minister Chretien refused to let Canada follow Mr. Harper into the US war in Iraq, Harper claimed that anyone who was against the Iraq War was a fan of Osama Bin Laden. At that point, I decided I had to get involved.”

She said she was first attracted to the Liberal Party when she saw how party leader Stephane Dion stood up to the Quebec Separatist movement in the 1990s, and has been a fan every since.

As for the notion that federal minority governments are constantly gridlocked and cannot function as they normally could or should, Dillon said it was preposterous and gave a few examples.

“Minority governments can work. Under Liberal minorities Canadians received national health care, the Canada Pension Plan, student loans, balanced budgets and the Canadian Maple Leaf flag. We also developed our reputation as international peacekeepers, and Lester B. Pearson won a Nobel Peace Prize for doing it,” she said. “However, Mr. Harper seems to have trouble working with others. As a result, his one-man show has put our economy in danger. Mr. Harper is the first prime minister in Canadian history whose policies have caused a reduction in Canadian productivity. This solo-flying experiment should end.”

In summing up her campaign strategy, Dillon urged voters to carefully weigh all their options before they cast their ballots and to show all candidates in all ridings some appreciation for the sacrifices they have or will make for the better of the country and all citizens.

“I ask voters to open their minds and hearts so they can examine and weigh the information they have received and I urge them to check this information out. Third party independent sources like the Sierra Club, should be used when assessing the environment approaches of all parties,” she said. “Running for office is demanding and exhilarating and I also urge voters to show appreciation to all those who have asked for your vote by thinking through their responses and making an informed choice.”