Conservative incumbent warns Vancouver Island North voters about changing horses

Voters should choose the Conservative Party of Canada for sound fiscal management and to avoid a Bloc Quebecois-influenced coalition, John Duncan said Saturday.

Voters should choose the Conservative Party of Canada for sound fiscal management and to avoid a Bloc Quebecois-influenced coalition, John Duncan said Saturday.The Vancouver Island North Tory incumbent spoke to about 30 party faithful as he opened his Comox Valley election campaign office at 100-2885 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.“I believe I am part of a capable, dependable, prudent … government,” Duncan said as about a dozen coal mine protestors demonstrated outside.“The international community is looking at Canada as an example of how to do things and how to do them well. We were the last country to enter into the global recession, the last Western, developed country and the first to come out of it.“The economy is still somewhat fragile, and this is not the time for an election. However, we are in an election.”Duncan made no secret of the fact his party wants to form a majority government after two minority ones.“You will recall in the last election, nobody really wanted to talk about a majority. In this election, we need to talk about a majority,” he said to applause.“If we do not have  majority, we are looking into an abyss of uncertainty, the spectre of a coalition … we need four years of government … we would be entering Canada into a period of prosperity that we have not seen in a long, long time, and we’d be the envy of the world.”Duncan elaborated on the need for a Conservative majority government.“We need a majority because, if we do not, we are going to be in a coalition. We’re going to be captive to the Bloc Quebecois and their separatist agenda, and this is going to be toxic for Canada.“If we can get four years of stable government, I predict that the Bloc will virtually disappear, there will be a forced merger on the left and this will be good for Canada.As Bob Rae did later in the day in a very different way at a Liberal town hall meeting elsewhere in Courtenay, Duncan said voters have a clear choice.“We can elect a Conservative government with a prime minister with international stature, that respects rural values, or we can elect a government that will demean Canada internationally and who has an urban agenda, which will not represent our interests whatsoever.”Duncan stressed his winning record (five of six elections), ability to work with other MPs and familiarity with the people of Vancouver Island North, one of the largest ridings in the country.“It’s been my honour to serve the riding now for 15 years. In that time, I’ve obviously got to know the communities very well, their priorities, their issues.”The Conservatives take Western Canada seriously, he indicated.“We still are very aware we want to represent the West.”The minister for Indian and Northern Affairs in the most recent government described his own political evolution as “going from third party to the second party to government, going from a critic role to cabinet….”Duncan, who was criticized in the past election campaign for not attending all of the all-candidate forums in the riding that stretches from Fanny Bay to the northwest tip of the Island, said 14 such forums were scheduled then.He said there’s a smaller, “sensible” number this time.In an interview afterwards, he said he doesn’t have a strong reaction to NDP leader Jack Layton’s promise to let B.C. keep $1.6 billion if B.C. votes to scrap the HST, because he doesn’t hear people talking about the HST.Duncan maintains a previous statement that the HST was driven by the B.C. Liberals, not the federal Conservatives.“Seniors and veterans,” Duncan responded when asked to identify issues he’s paying closer attention to in the Comox Valley than the rest of the riding.“We have the most veterans of any federal riding, according to Veterans Affairs Canada and most of those veterans are in the Comox Valley portion of the riding.”

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