By Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County – Westlock – St. Paul conservative candidate Brian Storseth is hoping to return to Ottawa in May to resume his role as Member of Parliament for the riding.
“It’s been a real honour over the last five-and-a-half years to represent the people of Morinville and Sturgeon County area,” Storseth said. “Obviously I’m hoping to continue to represent them for the next election, but even more than that, it’s been an honour to be in the part of this Conservative team that I believe has done such great work over the last five years.”
Although Storseth and his party believe the election was both unnecessary and unwanted and that the party’s budget was a balanced budget; now that the election has been called, he is hoping the conservatives can get a majority government this time around.
“I think the two competing visions for Canada is the big issue in this election,” Storseth said, adding he felt it is something that is not being talked about enough. “I really do believe there’s two very distinct visions for our country moving forward. Our vision is one of low taxes, one of continuing to focus on families, focusing on individual freedoms and making sure we end up with tougher crime policies – making sure victims have rights in our country, and making sure we keep a laser focus on the economy.”
Storseth said his party sees the way to do that is through lower tax rates for corporations through to the lowest income tax bracket, ensuring Canadians keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars.
The candidate said while all parties should be proud of what they have, he believes the Conservatives have a strong record, not only for the Westlock-St. Paul riding but for the country overall. “I’m proud to run on our record and I’m proud to run on our budget 2011, which we’ll hopefully be able to get passed in parliament when we get back, hopefully around the end of May,” Storseth said.
As to that record in the Morinville area, Storseth said he is proud of what he has been able to bring to the community as MP. Funding that includes $425,000 in federal gas tax funding annually, $3 million for the community Cultural Centre, $4.4 million for the 100 Street south rehabilitation project and most recently $74,400 in grant funding for Morinville’s centennial celebrations. Additionally, Storseth has helped acquire more than $1 million in funding for the West Sturgeon Seniors Complex as well as four accessibility grants for Bon Accord and Gibbons, the latter grants within the past couple weeks.
“I’ve been very happy to partner up with our community leaders, and Mayor [Lloyd] Bertschi and others to make sure some of these, and many more things have been accomplished for our community,” Storseth said. “At the end of the day, I’m proud of our record and I’m proud of the fact that Conservatives ridings are getting their fair share in Western Canada. We try to make sure we keep this as fair as we can across the country, but there is no doubt that we’ve been very successful. ”
The candidate said in addition to bringing funding to communities in his riding, he’s also brought news of what is going on, regarding himself as being the first MP in the riding to use a vibrant communication’s strategy, sending bimonthly e-mail updates to more than 5,000 constituents as well as more than 480,000 pieces of literature to constituents in the past year alone.
While the candidate, in his capacity as MP, has made use of e-mail to communicate with constituents, he is still not making use of social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. “I really don’t think my day-to-day life is that interesting,” Storseth said, laughing about his absence from social media. “Our constituents really haven’t had a big demand for me to go on Twitter. A lot of our constituents aren’t necessarily Twitter followers.”
Left and right
Although Storseth may not be a user of some online media, he is aware of the CBC Voter Compass website, an interactive tool that has led to some public and media accusations of a Liberal bias. This perceived bias has been countered by claims that Canadian politics have shifted to the right, making the Liberals more centrist than the Conservatives. It is a train of thought which Storseth disagrees.
“I think that’s absolutely false,” the candidate said, adding his seat in the House of Commons is close to the NDP seats. “You can talk to any NDP Member of Parliament you want. They’ll tell you that the Liberals consistently steal their stuff two weeks after they started it. The Liberal Party has gone to the left and the NDP has gone even further left. I don’t think there’s a lot of real argument about that out in the country. At the end of the day, these guys – what they’re offering is a lot of promises that is going to increase the spending by the Government of Canada and it’s going to mean an increase in taxes. That is not centrist or Conservative principles or policies.”
Storseth said his party has a plan to get rid of the deficit and a plan for what to do with the economy, and that Canadians should be proud the nation has had six straight quarters of economic growth.
For more information about candidate Brian Storseth visit:
The candidate also joined twitter after our interview. @BrianStorseth
Editor’s Note: We will be presenting an article on each of the four federal candidates over the next week.