Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Conservative MP Marc Dalton and former MP and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Conservative MP Marc Dalton and former MP and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy.

Conservative caucus talked about economy, overdoses: Dalton

Predict throne speech will trigger a fall election

The COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic were two key topics discussed when B.C. Conservatives met over the weekend, according to Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MP Marc Dalton.

“It was good to get together to hear the challenges and issues we’re facing as a province and as a nation,” said Dalton, noting the provincial meetings were followed closely by a gathering of the federal caucus on Wednesday morning.

He said government spending and accumulation of debt during the pandemic is a worry for his party, and a criticism of the current Liberal government.

“We recognize families and business – Canadians – are having a real difficult time with COVID-19,” he said, noting there are approximately one million unemployed.

He has heard first-hand how local businesses have been hard hit, and many could still close.

“Some business owners have told me that they’re managing, but if it (a shutdown) comes again, they won’t make it.”

The parliamentary budget officer has said the rate the government is accruing debt is not sustainable. So Dalton said there must be careful, thoughtful spending, or there will be “severe consequences” for taxpayers.

“Families are going to pay for it,” he said.

Conservatives also talked about the rising numbers of deaths by opioid overdose, and Dalton noted it has hit the Lower Mainland hard.

“It really is a crisis, and there needs to be more than what is currently offered,” he said. “Treatment and recovery needs to be better supported to provide a way for people to move out of their addictions.”

“I know the city (Maple Ridge) has also been advocating for a treatment centre.”

He said there is a place for the federal government in solving this crisis.

Conservatives expect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Throne Speech on Sept. 23 will bring a vote of non confidence in the government, causing the Liberal Minority government to fall, triggering a fall election. Dalton said Trudeau doesn’t want more investigation of the WE charity scandal, and he doesn’t want the economy to impact people further, before they go to the polls. So he will “engineer his own defeat” and have a new election.

READ ALSO: Dalton endorsed new Conservative leader

Former Liberal MP Dan Ruimy, who will run against Dalton in the next election, answered these criticisms. He said Canadians need the money government is spending to prop up the economy during the pandemic.

“I think anybody you talk to would agree… this type of spending is not sustainable in the long term,” he said. “It’s easy to say.”

But nations across the globe are spending billions to keep their economies afloat, and Ruimy said even people who have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) spend that money in their communities, also helping local businesses.

He noted more people are returning to work and the economy is slowly recovering, but it is not yet time for government to “dial it all back.”

“This is the difference between us and The States – we paid people to stay home,” Ruimy said.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s post-pandemic economy to recover in 2022, economists say

Ruimy said Conservatives have no credibility in portraying themselves as better money managers.

“They couldn’t get the deficit under control in the 10 years they were in power.”

About the opioid epidemic, Ruimy agreed there needs to be more access to treatment and recovery, but said Dalton is “disingenuous” in even raising that issue.

“He personally was a B.C. Liberal for eight years, and he didn’t address it,” he said.

Ruimy was skeptical a Conservative government would spend to the level it would take to eliminate the waiting lists for addicts to get into treatment centres.

“Everything we know about that party suggest they won’t invest that money.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Federal PoliticsGovernmentmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

About 150 guests attended the 16th annual Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. (The News files)
Parker Kaumi, 6, and his mother, Lauren, baked cookies to raise money for the Canucks Autism Network. (Chris Kaumi/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge mother and son bake cookies for Canucks Autism Network

Raise $1,200 for the organization that offers activities and programs to children and youth with autism

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href=""><strong></strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: ‘Maybe it’s time for a long second look’

Good news and more bad news on the Site C project and billions being spent to make it happen

Food For The Soul is offering support for the homeless population from its store on the Lougheed Highway in downtown Maple Ridge. (The News files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge’s Food For The Soul Project doing great work

Society working with homeless population in the community

The Writing Home free creative writing workshops will run for eight weeks beginning Jan. 29. (Special to The News)
Creative writing workshops for immigrant women this month

Writing Home is for newcomers to Canada living in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read