Federal Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield believes the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding can be won, one door at a time.
“We are going to win this thing one door at a time and that is going to require all of us working together, working really hard to advance our Liberal cause here in Nanaimo,” Corfield told a group of Liberal Party members, volunteers and supporters at her campaign office on Tuesday evening.
Corfield was joined by environment minister Catherine McKenna, as both of them rallied supporters prior to heading out and door knocking around the city.
McKenna said Corfield is an excellent candidate who has been active and involved in Nanaimo for many years.
“You’ve got an awesome female candidate,” she said.
McKenna, who defeated the NDP’s Paul Dewar in the Ottawa Centre riding in 2015, told supporters it is possible to win the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding. She said when she won her seat in 2015, it was deeply NDP and she wasn’t considered a serious contender.
“People thought there was no way I could win,” McKenna said.
The current environment minister said the secret to her success was knocking on doors in her riding.
“That is what is so important. It is literally just putting your head down, being with an awesome team and an awesome candidate and believing in what we are doing,” she said.
The biggest issue ahead of the byelection, according to McKenna, is climate change. She said Vancouver Island will feel the impact of climate change by experiencing increased extreme weather, more rain in the winter and drier conditions in the summer.
“You will go from eight days that are extremely hot to 42,” McKenna said. “That’s just an example of why you need to act.”
McKenna also touched on talking points for the Liberal Party, citing carbon tax, child benefit program, EI parental sharing benefit program, middle class tax cuts and low employment rate.
“We’ve done lots of things on all sorts of files,” she said. “Obviously the top one is beyond the canada child benefit, is talking about our jobs record. We created 900,000 jobs and we have the lowest unemployment rate in four decades.”
Before ending her speech, McKenna said the reason she got into politics was because she “really hated” former prime minister Stephen Harper, but now feels current Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer is “even worse,” pointing to the climate action file.
“He wants to take us back in time and we need to move forward and we need to continue the work that we are doing,” McKenna said. “Are we perfect? No, and I know it has been hard but we are committed to continuing to work hard.”
Speaking to the News Bulletin afterward, Corfield said she’s excited about her campaign.
“I believe we have put together a campaign program that is meaningful, insightful and will meet the needs of Nanaimo-Ladysmith,” she said.
Residents, Corfield said, are raising concerns about the environment, jobs, infrastructure needs and the need for a national pharmacare strategy. She also said she isn’t focused on other issues surrounding the Liberal Party; instead she’s worried about what is best for Nanaimo and Ladysmith.
“Advocating for Nanaimo-Ladysmith is my No. 1 priority,” she said. “People will always criticize the sitting government. However, I am there to represent Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s interests.”
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection is May 6. Other candidates include Bob Chamberlin, NDP; Jennifer Clarke, PPC; John Hirst, Conservatives; Paul Manly, Greens; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party; Jakob Letkemann, National Citizens Alliance.
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