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Raitt says Atlantic Canadians ready to turf Liberals

Deputy federal Conservative leader Lisa Raitt speaks with former premier Roger Bacon, Cumberland-Colchester Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong (left) and Cumberland South MLA Tory Rushton (right) during a stop in Amherst on July 21.
Deputy federal Conservative leader Lisa Raitt speaks with former premier Roger Bacon, Cumberland-Colchester Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong (left) and Cumberland South MLA Tory Rushton (right) during a stop in Amherst on July 21. - Darrell Cole

Deputy federal party leader stops in Amherst to support Armstrong

AMHERST, N.S. —

There won’t be another Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada in October’s federal election.

That’s the message the deputy leader of the Conservative Party brought to party supporters during a barbecue for former MP and Cumberland-Colchester candidate Scott Armstrong on July 21 in Amherst.

“Scott brings decency and kindness and a great understanding of the people from this part of the year, the people who volunteer in their communities by coaching basketball or baseball,” Raitt said. “They live their lives and don’t want government intervention, but want the government to be there to help when needed. That’s the balance Scott brought to Ottawa.”

Raitt, who was a candidate for the party leadership won the Andrew Scheer, said Armstrong is also not afraid to speak his mind on issues that go against his riding, province and region.

“That’s a voice that’s been missing in Atlantic Canada since you elected 32 Liberal MPs,” she said.

Raitt, who was born and raised in Cape Breton, said the prime minister made many promises to Atlantic Canadians prior to the 2015 election and struck a chord taking all 32 seats. Since then, however, she said Trudeau has been more focused on winning votes in Quebec and has all but abandoned the Atlantic region – going as far as to appoint and Ontarian MP as the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

“We’re going to win seats here because we have excellent candidates, like Scott,” she said. “It takes great candiates, a great leader like Andrew Scheer and a sincere belief we can make life better for Canadians. You can trust us to say we’re not the party to say it’s who you know to get ahead because that’s all we’ve been seeing from these Liberals for four years. If you’re a friend of Justin’s or a friend of Dominic’s, you’re going to do just fine but the rest of us we have to fight for everything we need and that’s just not fair.”

She disagrees that Atlantic Canadians are reticent to support Scheer, saying the party leader won the most votes in this region during the party’s leadership vote. Also, when Scheer comes to the region with his family and his children, Canadians see one of their own.

“They see a normal guy, like themselves, who just wants to do better for his family and is not going to try to utilize to the resources of the government for his own personal use,” Raitt said. “When he was Speaker of the House of Commons and had to travel he didn’t flaunt it and take the Challenger jet like Mr. Trudeau does wherever he goes and there were certainly never any ethical issues,” she said. “People will see a great contrast between Mr. Scheer and Mr. Trudeau, but it has to be supported by sound policy. Fact is Canadians cannot afford Mr. Trudeau anymore. Every time you turn around there’s a new tax or a new way to take money away from the working class Canadian and that’s not fair.”

Armstrong said he has been working on the campaign since being confirmed as the party’s candidate in February. He’s hearing from a lot of unhappy voters, who voted Liberal based on that party’s promises only to be disappointed when it comes to areas such as health care.

“What the Liberals have done to health care at the federal and provincial levels has devastated the system that Canadians need to be proud of,” Armstrong said. “People cannot get doctors and they cannot get access to emergency rooms, especially on weekends. We’re driving young doctors to the United States because of higher taxes.”

He said natural resources producers, such as those who work in the forestry industry and agriculture producers, are struggling. He said fishers are in trouble and he’s afraid of what Trudeau’s intervention in a dispute between the United States and China is going to do to this area’s multi-million-dollar blueberry industry and its search for new markets in Asia.

“Beef producers can’t send their products to China and neither can pork producers. Lobsters could be next and what about blueberries. It’s all because of this debacle he has got is in between China and the U.S. We can’t get between the superpowers as a middle power because it’s going to cost the little guy in jobs and income. That destroys Atlantic Cnaada,” he said.

Armstrong said a Conservative government will once again take the tax of home heating oil and will remove Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Sitting MP Liberal Bill Casey, himself a former Progressive Conservative, Conservative and independent MP, has already announced he is not reoffering in October. Three candidates – Joel Henderson, Jim Hardiman and Lenore Zann – are seeking the party’s nomination.

Jason Blanch has been confirmed as the Green Party candidate and Bill Archer the People’s Party of Canada candidate. The NDP have yet to select a candidate.

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