Puttin’ on the writs

Longest election campaign in Canadian history is looming

  • Jul. 31, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Carolyn Grant

Though no official announcement has been made, national media has all but confirmed that Prime Minister Steven Harper will drop the writ, indicating the official start to the federal election campaign, on Sunday.

This will make it the longest election campaign in Canadian history.

Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks says he has not been told anything officially.

“I only know what the media is reporting, I have not been told by the Party,” Wilks said Thursday morning. “The media seems pretty sure. They expect the writ to be dropped which will make for a long campaign.”

Wilks says that a fixed election date means the campaign has already begun in any event.

“Certainly the leaders have been campaigning since the beginning of the summer. I’ve been around the riding as have all the other identified candidates.”

If the writ drops, things will change for Wilks as he moves into campaign mode.

“I won’t be doing what I am today which is funding announcements,” he said. “I have  more on Friday, in Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Canal Flats and Cranbrook. Once the writ drops the focus will be on the campaign.”

Green Party candidate Bill Green of Kimberley, says that the campaign is already well underway and the writ dropping won’t change that.

“I have been campaigning full-time since July 17th, and will continue to campaign as hard as I can until the election,” he said. “I have a very strong and dedicated campaign team.  So whether the election campaign period officially starts over the coming long weekend or as late as mid-September makes no difference to our campaign.

“I know that the Conservative Party is looking to out-spend all of the other parties during the official campaign period, My focus is not on how much we can spend but, instead, on how much I am able to directly connect with Kootenay-Columbia voters.  I also want to convince younger voters that their votes are important and will make a difference in this election.  I find that many young voters are motivated by the Green Party message about voting for the positive changes we need to make through federal government action, including on climate change and building a new, green economy and green jobs.”

Liberal candidate Don Johnston says he is ready but very disappointed in the early dropping of the writ, particularly in terms of what it will cost the Canadian tax payer.

“I find it astounding that they would consider that length of campaign,” Johnston said. “Particularly over our Canadian summer when it’s difficult to connect with the public who are enjoying the last days of summer. It’s hard to understand how it contributed to quality conversations.”

Johnston says that the decision to go early adds $2.8 million each day to the cost of the election.

“You’re talking about $100 million over a campaign this long,” he said. “Political parties are eligible for rebates after the election based on spending. The Harper Conservatives rebate could be as much as $300,000 a day, paid for by the Canadian tax payer. It’s spending tax payer money to get Stephen Harper elected.

“It makes no sense. Everyone is already out campaigning because of the fixed election date. There’s no need to drop the writ this early.”

Johnston says an interesting side effect of the writ drop will be that disgraced senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau will all be back on the payroll.

“That’s just an interesting side effect of an unnecessary decision — disgraced and suspended senators back on the payroll the day the writ drops.”

“I’ve had a clear campaign plan in place for months in preparation for an election on October 19th, and an early writ drop is not going to change that,” said Wayne Stetski, NDP candidate. “I’ve been door knocking, talking with citizens across the riding, making sure I know what the people of this area think.

“I don’t believe that Canadians want a longer election campaign, but Stephen Harper doesn’t care how people feel. I have to assume that he believes there is some advantage to his party to start the official election period in the middle of summer, and for Stephen Harper, every decision he makes is an attempt to gain political advantage.

“The NDP campaign team is strong in Kootenay Columbia and we’ve been working hard since the spring. Whether the writ is dropped this week or in September, our intention is to outwork Mr. Wilks every single day.”

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read