By COLLIN GALLANT on August 17, 2021.
Conservative candidate Glen Motz says he’s heard good response in a federal campaign that started Sunday night, even though, he says, most local voters don’t want an election.
Motz, who has twice won elections in the riding, was the first major party candidate to begin campaigning. Signs are going up around town, and a new decalled pickup truck advertises his campaign.
He welcomed the media to his campaign office in the Carry Drive Plaza on Monday and will schedule a grand opening for the public.
“My first feeling is that we shouldn’t be having an election,” he told the press.
“Rather than focusing on matters that are important like the pandemic, the economic recovery, and the rising cost of living, the prime minister seems more concerned about his own political interests.
“If he want’s an unaccountable majority (mandate), we have some other thoughts on that.”
After months of speculation about an early election call from the minority Liberal government, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, requested the election Sunday.
Canadians will go to the polls for general voting on Monday, Sept. 20, just 23 months after the previous general election in 2019.
“If this was about pandemic recovery and economic recovery, we wouldn’t be in an election,” said Motz. “We’d be in parliament working this out.”
The Conservatives released an 83-page platform Monday morning, calling for spending control after the pandemic caused the federal budget to balloon and deficits to skyrocket, which Conservatives argue will harm the economic recovery.
Motz hadn’t read the document in detail by the 10 a.m. press conference, but said broad-stroke support is required to improve domestic manufacturing, supports for agriculture and traditional energy sector.
“You can’t fuel an economy without jobs … I’m troubled that we’re in this spot as a country,” he said. “We’ll be fleshing out issues on the campaign.”
Motz also stressed he opposes mandatory vaccination against COVID-19, including the government’s recent statement that federal workers and those in federally regulated industries, such as transportation finance and grain handling, be required to get the shot.
“Vaccines play a very important role in (preventing) the spread of COVID, but vaccines are a personal health decision that the government has no right to mandate,” he said.
Motz says the campaign strategy is much the same as previous years, but right now the size and structure of public events are being decided. Personal space would be respected, as usual, while door-knocking.
“We’ll have as much contact with the public as we can in the riding, and it’s a big riding,” he said, referring to the constituency that spans most of Alberta’s southern border.
“We’re going to make the most of it,” he said.