Red Deer-Mountain View Conservative incumbent Earl Dreeshen’s campaign is well underway as he meets with local constituents and gauges the issues in the community.
It’s a new configuration for the election, set for Oct. 19th, with the old Red Deer riding now divided into two parts – Red Deer-Lacombe and Red Deer Mountain View.
“I’ve been doing the same sort of thing that I always do,” he said when asked about the lengthy campaign, which was launched on the August long weekend. “You go out and meet your constituents, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” he said, adding he’s also met with positive response among those living in new areas of representation in the reconfigured riding. “It’s a case of meeting as many people as you can,” he said.
“I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback – people have been telling us that we are on the right track federally,” he said, adding issues that rise to the top are concerns over the economy and jobs. “We are trying to make sure we have an environment for economic growth.
“When I’m at the door talking to families, they are interested in the support they are getting – they understand and appreciate the extra dollars that have gone into their pockets because of the benefits that are there through the Universal Childcare benefit or simply the fact that we continue to reduce taxes so especially a lot of low-income earners are completely off the tax role. That’s really been one of the key parts.”
Dreeshen was elected in 2008 to represent the Red Deer riding.
Meanwhile, seeing the provincial sweep to NDP in Alberta’s election earlier this year doesn’t concern him on the federal level, he said, pointing out what he sees as the key differences between the parties. He said federally, the NDP are supportive of keeping Alberta’s natural resources in the ground. “They don’t understand the economy. Basically, they’ve been working against Alberta’s interests.”
Dreeshen said getting the product to tidewater is the part that is going, “To help us build our schools, and help us with our health care. It’s going to help us with all of those social issues and infrastructure issues that we need.”
He added there can be a tendency for some to divert a discussion to a topic that suits them, but, “When you are talking to individuals at the door, they’re concerned about the things that are important to them – jobs, their families and security.”
Those are the critical issues, he said.
As to issues such as the ongoing Duffy trial, Dreeshen said the Prime Minister has spoken about personal accountability. “That’s what we’ve done. I’m expected to work properly and to meet high standards, and so is everyone else.”