Election 2015: Candidates cautious about making promises

So far, only one federal candidate in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge has taken the daring plunge.

So far, only one federal candidate in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge has taken the daring plunge.

Green candidate Peter Tam has gone out on a limb and said that he supports improving city roads and sewers, and that he is in favour of affordable housing, policing and the environment.

Tam did so by supporting the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as part of its Hometown Proud Campaign that is trying to raise the profile of local issues with federal politicians.

“Sometimes, you can’t separate the different levels of government,” said Tam. “At the end of the day, we’re supposed to be there to represent the community.”

Cities are the engines for local jobs, growth and sustainable environments, says the federation.

It wants to keep that in candidates’ minds by having them support the FCM’s commitment and promise to support cities.

In order to make such promises even more palatable for politicians, the federation adds a disclaimer in fine print, telling the politicians that don’t worry, “in compliance with Section 550 of the Canada Elections Act, your … commitment to these election issues ends on polling day and places no obligation on you to follow a particular course of action either now or in the future.”

But so far, no other candidates have made such bold promises.

“I don’t think they have to worry about being too partisan or that,” Tam added.

Liberals, NDP and Conservatives all say they won’t make promises or sign pledges guaranteeing or supporting any particular cause when or if they’re elected.

Liberal Dan Ruimy said he’s received about 20 requests to sign his support for various causes.

“Since I joined this race, we’ve received numerous e-mails from so many organizations.”

He said he’ll listen to groups and wants to understand their issues and requests, but he won’t sign pledges or make promises.

“I will take the time to sit down and talk to people. I’m not going to run away.”

But, “I can’t make a promise that I don’t know I can keep.”

Conservative candidate Mike Murray said the same thing, by e-mail.

“I don’t sign pledges but you can be assured that if elected, I will dedicate myself to work with all levels of government for the best interest of our two great communities.”

Bob D’Eith, with the NDP, said the same as his Liberal competitor: there are just too many requests seeking a candidate’s support.

“I’m not signing pledges. That’s not to say I’m not supportive of what they’re doing.”

Both Liberals and NDP candidates said the campaign was going well.

“Our numbers are growing everyday,” said D’Eith.

“We’ve been knocking on doors all summer. The election is going to be won on the ground … ”

The NDP opened their campaign office Monday night.

Ruimy said his campaign signs arrive this week.

“We’re getting lots of support, lots of traction,” adding that he’ll win the riding.

Tam said his signs will arrive later and plans on holding face-to-face coffee sessions, during which voters can drop in and ask questions.

He’s also using social media a lot in his campaign.

“I actually spend more time engaging with people via e-mail and electronically.

“It’s the Green way of doing things.”

Tam said he has more support this election than when he ran in 2011.

 

 

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