Asked why she is seeking a fourth term as Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP, Conservative candidate Cathy McLeod cites unfinished local initiatives and concerns about the direction of the country under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.
McLeod wants the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project completed and an agricultural research centre in Brocklehurst — shuttered under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government — reopened.
She also wants a new softwood lumber agreement in place to aid the forestry sector.
As for poking at the party in power, the Official Opposition MP said she is concerned about its performance and wants to uphold conservative values and principals going forward.
“Mostly, it’s a job I love, helping individual constituents, working with businesses and some of the challenges they have, working with communities,” McLeod said.
“I believe I’ve been effective and would certainly be honoured to continue.”
McLeod has been local MP since first being elected in 2008 and, since being re-elected in 2015, has been Indigenous Affairs critic.
Looking back, the nurse-turned-Pemberton-mayor-turned-MP pointed to nearly a half-billion federal dollars invested in the riding during her tenure.
McLeod is proud of small projects, such as a splash park in Clearwater, and larger ones, including the four-laning of Highway 1 between Pritchard and Hoffman’s Bluff. The $61-million project was completed in 2016, with half of the cost funded by Ottawa.
“I worked [as a nurse] in the Chase Health Centre when there was significant tragedy on the roads,” she said, calling the project a priority. “I would be called into emergency to help because of some of the tragedies right at Hoffman’s Bluff.”
Is being the incumbent in an election an advantage or disadvantage?
McLeod said incumbents benefit from name recognition, but she hopes voters will choose her on election day because of her reputation and performance.
She said affordability is paramount among issues in this election campaign.
“The principle of you’re the best person to run your life, manage your money,” McLeod said.
“Your money is better sitting in your pocket than with government. Obviously, government has roles to play. Let’s keep it reasonable.
“That’s certainly a priority and I think it’s a big issue I’m hearing from seniors, I’m hearing from students, people who make a reasonable income — but, they do struggle.”
Q: What specifically do you want to do for/bring to the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding that is not here or being done now?
A: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, future for the agricultural centre and support for forestry industry.
Q: What is the issue most being raised by voters as you talk to them?
A: Affordability and health care.
Q: First past the post or proportional representation?
A: First past the post, which is the Conservative party’s position. “I don’t always like the chosen government, but I respect the democratic process and we’ve had stable governments. I’ve always supported first past the post.”
Q: In your opinion, who was Canada’s greatest prime minister?
A: John A. MacDonald, John Diefenbaker and Stephen Harper. “The first we have to recognize for the amazing task of bringing our country together.”
Q: If you could not vote for yourself, which other candidate would get your vote?
A: “Until I get to see all of the other candidates in action, I’m not going to [comment].”
VITAL STATISTICS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Lives: Rivershore in Kamloops
Family status: Married for 35 years, with three adult children
Facebook: Cathy McLeod MP Kamloops Thompson Cariboo
Campaign office: 294 Seymour St. downtown
Find the Conservative platform, when it is released, online at conservative.ca