Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fewer Goodies for Langley & BC With Harper as PM

The election is over except for the crying and laughing. It certainly looks like Harper’s conservatives won this one even though the undecided are still out there and today’s SES poll shows the Liberals are tied with the Conservatives in seat rich Ontario. Is it minority or majority though? Our concern in Langley and BC should now be about having influence with strong representation in Harper’s cabinet. We at Langley Free Press are concerned that we won’t have as much influence and local investment as we had under Paul Martin’s cabinet. Under Martin’s government we had four ministers. They were Ujjal Dosanjh, (Minister of Health), David Emerson (Minister of Industry), Raymond Chan, (Minister of State (Multiculturalism)) and Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State & Sport). Lets face it BC and Langley was finally getting attention and money from the feds with these senior ministers.

The issue is that BC will not have the same strong conservative cabinet material. For instance in our opinion Langley’s Mark Warawa is not cabinet material, probably never will be and will keep warming up the back benches. It’s really unfortunate that in Langley the social conservatives helped plant Warawa over Bev Braaten at their nomination meeting in 2004. She had the political connections, was articulate and intelligent, fast on her feet and we think was many more times the cabinet material of a Mark Warawa. With the lack of strong if any substantial females (except for perhaps Rona Ambrose) in the Harper Government she would have most certainly been in cabinet. The social conservatives have hijacked many Conservative ridings all over BC and mostly in the west . They essentially supported single issue puppets in ridings just as they solidly helped elect Warawa in Langley. These elected candidates will know where their bread is buttered and unfortunately will remain pretty much single issue candidates with similar capabilities as our local MP. Hence, many back seat bench warmers in government.

So who will Harper choose for his cabinet? Another problem for BC is Harper’s focus on Quebec, Ontario and home ground Alberta. An indicator of BC’s importance is demonstrated by Harper’s 8 BC election visits so far compared to Paul Martin’s 11 visits. BC’s only possible list of cabinet material possibilities is not overly impressive. Stockwell Day, Chuck Strahl, Jay Hill, John Cummins and James Moore are the only ones that we can see Harper choose from. Moore who is bilingual and brash and energetic has excellent potential. The rest speak for them selves. The Harper cabinet ministers and more importantly the senior ministers will primarily hail from Ontario, Alberta and now probably from Quebec too. As local Liberal candidate Bill Brooks points out, he has been more effective in helping get Langley infrastructure monies as a non elected volunteer than our sitting MP Mark Warawa. Therefore, Harper as PM will unfortunately provide no better local benefits for Langley and we are further worried about losing influence and money for BC as a whole as well.

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