Newly elected Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Marc Dalton, said the Prime Minister’s throne speech was tone deaf to people who have lost their jobs – like Maple Ridge’s Hammond Cedar mill employees.
“I didn’t hear much about fiscal responsibility, or getting our house in order in terms of the economy,” said Dalton from Ottawa on Friday.
He said the loss of jobs in the forestry sector, including the century-old operation in Hammond, has a huge impact on communities. He noted the approximately 200 jobs lost in Maple Ridge in October were followed by 71,000 lost across Canada in November, according to Statistics Canada.
Dalton said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be trying to bolster the energy sector, which represents about 10 per cent of the economy.
“We’re more interested in choking that industry and bringing in more imports (of oil) from Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The speech was strong onLiberal campaign promises: greater action to fight climate change, lower taxes for middle-class Canadians, beefed-up gun control, steps towards national pharmacare and investments in infrastructure, public transit, affordable housing and health care.
The Liberal party has renewed separatism in Quebec, and now has Western separatists with Wexit, Dalton said, and has made matters worse by pushing a carbon tax as part of the country’s climate change strategy. The tax will further inflame separatists in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“We need to listen to their concerns and be taking Wexit seriously – not poking it more and more,” said Dalton.
The new MP does not want to see his Conservative party in a leadership battle, and said he supports Andrew Scheer. He respects that people have questions for the party leadership after failing to win the election, but said the party had a significant increase in seats, from 98 to 121 and won the popular vote (34.4 per cent) with Scheer at the helm.
“I’m supportive of him, and we (Conservatives) need to focus on the Liberals and Trudeau.”
Dalton will be taking over the office of former MP Dan Ruimy as his constituency office, at 22369 Lougheed Hwy.