Duncan fires back at NDP

Conservative candidate stands by his comments about ferries funding

The NDP “should stop putting out misinformation” about BC Ferries funding, says the Conservative Party candidate for the riding that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach.

John Duncan, the lone Conservative MP on Vancouver Island who is seeking re-election and the Conservative government whip, was reacting to comments last week from a number of NDP candidates on the Island.

“The Harper Conservatives have prevented BC Ferries from accessing basic infrastructure funding that would help reduce ferry costs,” said Alicia Cormier, the NDP candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Those comments have been echoed by Duncan’s NDP opponent in Courtenay-Alberni, Gord Johns, and incumbent Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin.

Duncan said last week BC Ferries is eligible for shore-based funding through the Build Canada Fund. On Friday, he told The NEWS he also made that clear in July.

“They (BC Ferries) have actually put in two applications (for Build Canada funding), at least one of which is shore-based,” said Duncan. “I’m told this week that application is currently under review.”

Duncan said the NDP, specifically Rankin, has been deliberately misleading the public about this issue.

“Murray Rankin should stop putting out misinformation,” said Duncan. “He has been creating confusion quite deliberately.”

Courtenay-Alberni is a new riding that includes portions of two old ridings, Vancouver Island North and Nanaimo-Alberni.

In the 2011 federal election, Duncan won Vancouver Island North with 27,206 votes (46.11 per cent). The NDP’s Ronna-rae Leonard garnered 25,379 votes (43.01 per cent). No other candidate had more than six per cent of the votes cast. In Nanaimo-Alberni in 2011, Conservative James Lunney won with 30,469 vote (46.42 per cent), while NDP candidate Zenaida Maartman garnered 25,165 votes (38.34 per cent). No other candidate had more than eight per cent of the votes cast.

General election day this year is Monday, Oct. 19.

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