When the NDP heard that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was coming to town, it wasn’t all doom and gloom with the local candidate and campaign team having to take on the Conservative leader and prime minister.
“We were happy with that. We take that as a positive sign,” because it means the NDP are gaining in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge and the Conservatives – represented by Mike Murray – needed some help, says D’Eith.
D’Eith challenged several points Harper made Tuesday at Pitt Meadows airport, saying NDP provincial governments have a better record of balanced budgets than Conservative governments.
Canada is the only G-8 country that’s in recession and has relied too much on energy to fuel the economy, he pointed out.
Under NDP premier Tommy Douglas, Saskatchewan had 18 balanced budgets, while under Harper, Canada has lost 450,000 manufacturing jobs, D’Eith added.
And 80 per cent of jobs are created by small business, which is why the NDP wants to reduce the tax to nine per cent at a faster rate than the Conservatives.
“He really has to get his facts straight.”
D’Eith also challenged Harper’s foreign policy, saying as a Canadian, he was embarrassed by the government.
The NDP opposes Canada’s participation in the air war against Islamic State, while the Conservatives continue to champion it.
“I don’t think the solution is to drop more bombs. A lot of the problems that are being created … you create people that oppose you and you create people like ISIS.”
D’Eith said the Conservatives are emphasizing fear.
“The Harper government is about fear, period. They are selling fear. They are creating a sense of fear in Canadians. The NDP is not running on fear.”
Green party candidate Peter Tam didn’t want to challenge particular points about the Conservative campaign.
“Every party has things they want to say,” he said.
“We need to govern as a science and fact-based society.”
His party opposes federal scientists being unable to speak to the public and wants to see a return to the long-form census so the government has accurate numbers on which to base policy.
And he’s still upset that Green party leader Elizabeth May was shut out of Thursday’s debate and said the other leaders may not have wanted her because she would have challenged them on any statements that were not factual.
“We’re seeing fundamental flaws in our democracy. That’s our biggest concern at the moment.”
Independent candidate Steve Ranta said much of Canada’s deficit results from a shift away in the 1970s to using the Bank of Canada to fund infrastructure projects at zero per cent. He cited the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform, which wants to return to that.
“Canada is rapidly becoming a have-not country under the Conservatives.”
In the last election in 2011, Conservatives easily won the riding, earning 10,000 more votes than the NDP.