Local MP Jamie Schmale believes there is “no hope” for an election any time soon, and that there “is no appetite amongst Canadians for an election to be fought during a pandemic.”
Although the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP is enthusiastic about running under new party leader Erin O’Toole’s banner, he doesn’t think it will happen soon.
“I supported Erin (for the leadership). He has lots of energy. He is a regular guy, an armed forces veteran with a history of success in the private sector.”
Schmale says the series of advertisements the Conservative Party of Canada is running will hopefully better introduce O’Toole to Canadians.
“In his eight months as leader, the pandemic has posed real challenges for Canadians to get to know Erin. Hopefully soon we will be back to normal and Erin will get a chance to meet Canadians under more normal circumstances.”
When asked what he expects the priorities will be in Ottawa in the near future, Schmale focused on the upcoming federal budget which is expected to be presented April 19.
“We want to see the numbers,” Schmale said. “We also want to see a plan for what a re-opening will look like under federal jurisdiction, including when Parliament will be back operating normally. We want to know when these quarantines for foreign travellers will come to an end.”
Schmale said there were problems with procuring vaccine for Canadians, putting the country behind. “We should be manufacturing the vaccine here in Canada.”
When the Advocate reminded Schmale that a previous Conservative prime minister (Brian Mulroney) privatized Connaught Laboratories, a publicly run lab responsible for many medical breakthroughs, Schmale started talking about the importance of private investment.
“We need to create an environment in Canada for private investment and (for) creating manufacturing jobs right here in Ontario.”
The MP said Conservatives need to focus on issues “that unite us, like lower taxes, less government and more personal freedom.”
Schmale said the focus of the federal government should be “to get people working again. We need to get the ‘boot off the throat’ of the oil (and) natural gas and mining sectors. They are going to be economic linch-pins in our recovery from COVID. Those resources will provide government the tax money to fund other important projects. As Conservatives we need to unite together to defeat the Trudeau government.”