UPDATED (correcting some minor errors from earlier version, to which we apologize)
MP hopefuls start long road to October election
Dean Allison, Nameer Rahman and Phil Rose have one thing in common today: they all want to be elected member of parliament for the new Niagara Riding in the Oct. 19 federal election.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper requested a writ of election Aug. 2, launching the longest campaign since 1872.
The Niagara Riding now includes Wainfleet, while Glanbrook has been shifted out of the riding.
Allison, running for the Conservative Party, was first elected in 2004 and seeks re-election for a fifth time.
Rose, running for the Liberal Party, is an educator and musician whose previous election experience was running for the Canadian Action Party in the 2004 election run.
Rahman, running for the New Democratic Party, a resident of Grimsby, was named to the Grimsby Economic Development Advisory Committee last fall an serves as committee’s vice-chair.
While Rose noted he was glad to be on the campaign trail, he did note the length of that trail is longer than it could have been.
“Naturally, we share the general view that Stephen Harper continues to govern in the interests of Stephen Harper, and that for this he’ll pay a price, as Canadians learn that it will cost them about $125 million extra to stage this elongated election,” said Rose.
Allison said the state of Canada’s economy remains a central focus for all.
“As we all know, our economy is still fragile, primarily as a result of economic issues on the world stage. As Canadians we have weathered the financial downturns better than most countries, and this has been a direct result of our governments strong leadership,” said Allison.
Rahman said jobs in Niagara are among key issues on his list of campaign goals.
“Our focus for this election is job creation by revitalizing Niagara’s manufacturing sector, defending our agricultural communities from misguided free trade agreements and supporting working families with measures like $15-a-day childcare,” said Rahman.
On the local front, Rose said his focus would be on infrastructure investment.
“We intend to make relevant infrastructure investments in order to create the conditions for significant job creation in the riding. Much of this will be investments in public transit and clean energy, and we’ll likewise be helping our municipalities adapt to ongoing extreme weather incidents related to global warming,” said Rose.
For Allison, getting funds into taxpayers’ hands and having delivered on local promises gives him a great local track record, he said.
“At the local level: putting more money back into the pockets of hard-working families, helping local businesses and organizations grow and prosper, and working with local levels of government to strengthen important infrastructure are my top priories,” said Allison.
“I have delivered important infrastructure dollars to the riding for projects like the YMCA in Grimsby, the new arena in Beamsville and more recently funding for projects like the Scout hut in Beamsville and the Carnegie building in Grimsby. Both projects are supported by multiple organizations in the community.
Rahman said he hopes for a good clean campaign and welcomes debate on the issues.
“We are engaged in an exciting and positive campaign, and look forward to carrying our message to every household in Niagara West,” said Rahman.
Rose said if he gets elected he would host regular town hall meetings “so as to bring the people of Niagara West closer to their MP and to the House of Commons.”
As for Allison, “If re-elected, I will continue to work hard to champion all residents, businesses and municipalities here in Niagara West.”
Phil Rose (Liberal), Nameer Rahman (NDP) and Dean Allison (Conservative)