Energized, focused and armed with a strong, detailed set of policies we can take proudly into the next federal election. That?s a brief summary of the results of last weekend?s Conservative Party of Canada Policy Convention in Montreal.
Conservative delegates had a big job ahead of them. It was the party?s first convention since its creation less than a year-and-a-half ago. The national news media and our political opponents were, quite frankly, anticipating headlines proclaiming our newly-united conservative movement was on the verge of imploding. Boy, did we prove them wrong!
Oh, there were some headlines following the first day that attempted to overstate what was simply healthy and thorough democratic debate on the convention floor. Having witnessed first-hand how well events were proceeding, some participants were heard to ponder that day whether they were in the same city as some of our national media, let alone the same convention!
Regardless, it quickly became obvious that the meeting of more than 3,000 elected delegates and observers from across Canada, was a tremendous success. Not only did our leader Stephen Harper obtain the endorsement of 84 percent of delegates, the Conservative Party of Canada accomplished what it had set out to do: offer Canadians a strong, united, fiscally-responsible alternative to the tired and corrupt Liberals.
Don?t take my word for it. Some headlines across the country read: Tories displayed unity and maturity. Harper lands right side up. Good weekend for democracy. Energized Tories take it to the greying Grits. Even the Toronto Star, a proudly Liberal-friendly newspaper titled its editorial, PM more scary than Harper, then proceeded to trash the Liberals? record, Paul Martin?s lack of vision and his cheap attempts to portray Stephen Harper as scary.
I couldn?t be happier with the outcome. Conservative delegates resolved to offer policies to: restore the capability of the Canadian Forces, cut taxes, ensure the long-term future of Canadian farming, boost the availability of post secondary education, offer long-overdue increases in benefits for our veterans and seniors, ensure free votes for MPs without threat of any disciplinary action if they don?t toe the party line, really fix our ailing healthcare system, scrap the gun registry, and restore justice so that real criminals are held responsible for their actions.
Canadians will have plenty of opportunity to scrutinize each and every one of our new policies in the next federal election.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to express my appreciation that, despite being the furthest riding away with the exception of those in the territories and Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Prince George-Peace River sent a full slate of delegates and observers to the Conservative convention. I?m very proud that so many people from our riding dug into their own jeans to pony up the money to attend this important event.
Theirs is the kind of dedication and willingness to actively participate in our democratic process that continues to motivate me to represent our great constituency, backed by the same principles that prompted me to enter political life nearly 17 years ago.