There’s no provincial campaign going on right now, but you wouldn’t know it from the comments at a gathering of provincial cabinet ministers in Parksville Monday.
The event, sponsored by the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce, saw Minister of Agriculture Don McRae, Mary McNeil, the Minister of Children and Family Development, Steve Thomson, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Ida Chong, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure join Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon at the Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort to give a brief rundown on their ministries and field questions from chamber members.
Each of the ministers prefaced his or her remarks with high praise for Cantelon and the work he has done to represent his constituents.
“He knows how to get money out of government,” McRae said. “I aspire to get money out of government like Ron has in the past.”
The most effusive praise however came for the actions of the provincial government itself — and the need to make sure they are returned to power in the next election.
“In less than a year from now, in May of next year, we will go to the polls and we will be electing a government,” Chong said. “I hope we will return our government to make sure your community is well represented and heard at the government table — and to make sure we continueto provide the best fiscal management.”
Chong also went on the attack against the NDP, telling the standing-room-only crowd that NDP leader Adrian Dix’s promises have topped the $7 billion mark to date.
“It’s important that we maintain our AAA credit rating,” Chong said. “We are asking for your support.”
When asked about the BC Conservatives, Chong stressed the BC Liberals are a coalition, one that needs everybody to stay on board if the NDP is to be kept from power.
“We know that whenever the coalition does not stay together the NDP gets elected,” she said. “What is at risk is going back to a government that will spend tax and not be accountable for those dollars in the way you want us to be accountable. I believe we have provided good government and I trust people will see how important it is to vote in the right direction, which is a Liberal government.
Cantelon, looking fit and vibrant as he continues his recovery from a recent heart attack, joined in.
“I say, you look at these people,” he said. “I am amazed at how strong a team we have, how committed they are to delivering fiscally responsive government,” he said. “I am so proud of the competence we have here to move this province forward. We need your help in getting them elected.”