Econ­omy and free trade re­main pri­or­i­ties for Con­ser­va­tives af­ter five-year mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - ELISABETHD­OWSON

Af­ter a week’s break from Ot­tawa and some trav­el­ling across the con­stituency to take the col­lec­tive tem­per­a­ture of the re­gion, Cy­press Hills-Grass­lands MP David An­der­son spoke to about 30 con­stituents at the Con­ser­va­tive An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing about the pos­si­bil­i­ties the Harper mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment could be fac­ing fol­low­ing the pre­se­n­a­tion of the fed­eral bud­get.

“I think we need to be care­ful that we treat gov­ern­ment with re­spect, and we want to do that, but at the same time our fo­cus has been on the econ­omy and that’s where we’re go­ing to keep it with the bud­get that’s com­ing up,” An­der­son said, speak­ing to party mem­bers at the con­stituency’s meet­ing on March 19 in Swift Cur­rent.

“Af­ter be­ing in Ot­tawa for a cou­ple of weeks, to come back here and find out that [these is­sues are] re­ally not even on the radar here, yet in Ot­tawa there’s a bub­ble there and they think that things are be­ing dis­cussed there are ab­so­lutely crit­i­cally im­por­tant to ev­ery­body,” he re­flected.

“So we’ve heard about some of these things like Bev Oda and some of the fund­ing is­sues ... but what was in­ter­est­ing as I trav­elled this week in the rid­ing I hardly heard any­body who had any in­ter­est in that. They want to hear about bud­get and econ­omy and how things are go­ing to work for them for the next while.”

As his con­stituents pre­pare for a pos­si­ble elec­tion, An­der­son said, “Ob­vi­ously the bud­get is the next big thing that takes place. It’s com­ing down on Tues­day. We know what we’ve gone for­ward with and made our pro­pos­als for, and Mr. Fla­herty and the Prime Min­is­ter and oth­ers will make those de­ci­sions, so I think you’re go­ing to see a fo­cus ob­vi­ously on re­duc­ing the stim­u­lus spend­ing, that’s be­ing wrapped up, and it’s clear that we’re not go­ing to be do­ing that kind of thing again now that the econ­omy has strength­ened a bit.

“We do want to get the deficit un­der con­trol. Some of us are adamant about that. We have been speak­ing about that since we started run­ning deficits and there are a group of us who feel re­ally strongly that needs to be a pri­or­ity of gov­ern­ment.”

An­der­son hy­poth­e­sized about the po­si­tions of the other par­ties based on what he thought might be some pos­si­ble bud­getary con­cil­i­a­tions.

“We have been dis­cussing an HST agree­ment with Que­bec. If that had been reached ... I would suspect the Bloc would have a very dif­fi­cult time op­pos­ing the bud­get.

“Jack Lay­ton came with two or three sug­ges­tions of things he’d like to see, such as an eco-en­ergy pro­gram, some pen­sion work for se­niors. If those kinds of things are in the bud­get, he would prob­a­bly be con­sid­er­ing whether they should be sup­port­ing it or not.”

MP David An­der­son gave party sup­port­ers an over­view of the po­lit­i­cal cli­mate dur­ing theCy­press-Hills Grass­land­sCon­ser­va­tive An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing on Mar­rch 19 in Swift Cur­rent.

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