What makes Dun­can run

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON

Staff When for­mer North Dun­das mayor Eric Dun­can an­nounced he wasn’t go­ing to run for re­elec­tion in last fall’s mu­nic­i­pal election, many in the me­dia thought it was be­cause he wanted to de­vote his en­ergy to run­ning for a higher of­fice.

And al­though the 31-year-old Winch­ester res­i­dent has of­fi­cially an­nounced he in­tends to run for the Con­ser­va­tive party in this year’s fed­eral election, he in­sists that’s not the rea­son he de­cided to step down after 12 years of mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics.

“I had de­cided two years ago that I wasn’t go­ing to run again,” says Mr. Dun­can, adding that he wanted to de­vote some time to work­ing at his fam­ily’s truck­ing com­pany.

But when vet­eran Stor­mon­tDun­das-South Glen­garry MP Guy Lau­zon an­nounced his re­tire­ment last month, the writ­ing was on the wall for Mr. Dun­can, who has long dreamed of be­ing a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment.

Nei­ther the Lib­er­als nor the New Democrats have fielded can­di­dates yet.

Mr. Dun­can says he’s at­tracted to the Con­ser­va­tives be­cause of that party’s at­ti­tude to­ward fi­nances.

“The lower taxes are, the more ef­fi­cient the econ­omy is go­ing to be,” he says. “I don’t be­lieve the im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion to any prob­lem should be to raise taxes.”

As such, he’s not too happy with the Lib­er­als, who claim to bal­ance the bud­get in the year 2040.

“That’s ab­surd,” he says. “Stephen Harper’s gov­ern­ment only went into a deficit when it was needed, when there was a global re­ces­sion. They went into that deficit with the three T’s. The deficit was timely, it was tem­po­rary, and it was tar­geted.”

He says that the Con­ser­va­tive party is the so­lu­tion.

“It’s eas­ier to fix a four-year prob­lem than a 15-year prob­lem,” he says, al­lud­ing to provincial Con­ser­va­tive party’s re­cent vic­tory after 15 years of Lib­eral rule.

As far as the is­sues go, he says there are two big ones – elim­i­nat­ing the car­bon tax and de­fend­ing sup­ply man­age­ment.

He says that dur­ing the last provincial election, vot­ers sent a pretty clear mes­sage that they didn’t want a car­bon tax. Mr. Dun­can says those same vot­ers may not be pleased with the fed­eral Lib­er­als who plan to im­pose a sim­i­lar tax in April.

“If that’s what the fight is go­ing to be about, then chal­lenge ac­cepted,” he says. “In our rid­ing, we have a lot of com­muter fam­i­lies and they are go­ing to be pe­nal­ized for driv­ing to work.”

He says the gov­ern­ment would be bet­ter off look­ing at tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions for cli­mate change. As an ex­am­ple, he points to his fam­ily’s truck­ing busi­ness and how it man­aged to im­prove fuel ef­fi­ciency through ve­hic­u­lar mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

As far as sup­ply man­age­ment goes, he says it has to be pro­tected be­cause it pro­tects farm­ers. He says this is es­pe­cially im­por­tant be­cause some of Canada’s trade part­ners would like to see it gone.

Mr. Dun­can knows it will be a chal­lenge liv­ing up to Mr. Lau­zon’s le­gacy, who made it a pri­or­ity to be seen at var­i­ous events through­out the rid­ing. He says he makes at least 100 phone calls a day and will cam­paign as if he is 100 votes be­hind.

For­mer aide

Mr. Dun­can had worked for the vet­eran MP as his ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant and chief of staff for nine years, be­fore leav­ing to work for his fam­ily’s busi­ness.

The rid­ing has been con­sid­ered one of the safest Tory seats in Canada, al­though sup­port for Mr. Lau­zon slipped in the last election in 2015.

While his vote to­tal dipped by 11 per cent from his 2011 to­tal, Mr. Lau­zon still gar­nered 51 per cent of the pop­u­lar vote, amass­ing 27,091 bal­lots, com­pared to Lib­eral hope­ful Ber­nadette Clement’s 20,452, New Demo­crat Pa­trick Burger’s 4,332 and Green can­di­date Elaine Kennedy’s 1,191.

Eric Dun­can

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