PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Morinville News has extended an interview invitation to all six candidates in the 2019 federal election. We will be releasing one article each day in the order candidates replied to us. Visit our election page for all the profiles we have published to date.
by Stephen Dafoe
Incumbent MP Dane Lloyd is the Conservative Party of Canada in Sturgeon River-Parkland. Lloyd went to Ottawa following the 2017 by-election to replace longtime MP Rona Ambrose. In that election, Lloyd won with 16,125 votes for 77.4 per cent of the tally.
Almost two years into the job as MP, he is enjoying the post. “It’s been really good. I’m really pleased. Coming in in a by-election; obviously, you don’t have as much time to get everything under your feet, but I think we hit the ground running in our office.”
Lloyd said he is particularly proud of getting his Private Member’s Bill—McCann’s Law—introduced in the House of Commons. The Bill was named after Marie and Lyle McCann of St. Albert who were murdered in 2010. The Bill would prevent someone convicted of murder to be eligible for parole if they refused to provide information on the location of the body.
“I’m looking forward to introducing it again and hopefully getting it passed after the election,” Lloyd said.
In addition to working on improving his French, Lloyd said he has stood up for the interests of the region, whether it is advocating for pipelines or jobs in the energy and other sectors in the region.
Another thing Lloyd is proud of is spending time as a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces, something he said a lot of people are surprised he is still involved with. Lloyd’s unit in Ottawa runs from September to June, which roughly coincides with Parliament.
“I’m still serving as an infantry officer at my unit part-time,” Lloyd said, adding he is currently on leave due to the election. “We have a lot of military families in our riding, and when I go to the doors, and I talk to them, they ask if I’m in the military. And I say, ‘Yes. I am.’ I think they’re pleased to hear that.”
“As a reservist, we parade one night a week, and we usually have exercises one weekend a month. Sometimes there are longer summer exercises that can go one to two weeks.”
Lloyd said the Conservative Party of Canada’s slogan—It’s Time for You To Get Ahead—is appropriate in this election where voters are concerned with affordability.
“We’ve identified through our polling and focus groups, and the grassroots going to the doors that affordability is a major issue in this election,” Lloyd said. “What our campaign has been focused on is our positive message on how can we make things more affordable for families and for seniors and those in the lower and middle-income tax brackets.”
Lloyd cites the Conservatives pledge of a universal tax cut as one of the ways the party will make things easier for Canadians. The reduction would lower the 15% tax down to 13.75%. The party would also raise the old age exemption amount by $1000, saving a seniors’ couple about $300 per year. The Conservatives also plan to remove GST from home heating bills, and dealing with the carbon tax.
“These are tangible things that will save families—when you put it all together—possibly thousands of dollars per year,” Lloyd said.
“They are also things that’s not going to put a massive hit in the budget because we know we have a deficit, and we know we need to be very responsible in how we manage the nation’s finances. We’re making what I think are modest but impactful tax reductions for families, and I think it will help people.”
Lloyd also spoke of the Conservative plan to end what it calls corporate welfare.
“We understand that sometimes you need to have some flexibility as a government to attract big business to your region like we saw with Pembina investment in Sturgeon County,” Lloyd said.
“What we’ve seen a lot from this government is a willingness to throw money out the door to any group, especially well-connected groups,” Lloyd said. “We want to put discipline back into that area, and we estimate we can save well over a billion dollars, which we can then use to reduce the deficit and create more tax breaks for families.”
ENERGY AND EMPLOYMENT
As Lloyd has been door-knocking in the riding, he hears concerns about getting a pipeline built, employment in the energy sector, and jobs in general within the region.
“In Parkland County, particularly, with the loss of the coal-fired power plants and the mine, we’re facing over a thousand job losses,” he said. “This is very concerning for people.
Affordability and home prices are other issues, ones Lloyd sees as a broader Alberta issue than specific to the region.
“More philosophically, I’m also hearing that people don’t like the mudslinging and the cynicism in politics,” Lloyd said. “That’s why I’ve been focused and why the federal party has been focused on running a positive campaign.”
Lloyd said he believes people have had their fill with the Liberals.
“I think people are very cynical about the Liberals because in 2015 Justin Trudeau was this kind of shining knight figure that people didn’t really expect to be prime minister at the beginning of the race,” Lloyd said. “He said all these things and people really attached themselves to that idealism. But governing is a totally different thing than a campaign. I think that Trudeau failed to deliver the hype he said he was going to deliver. I think that’s causing some cynicism in politics.
“When you see things like SNC-Lavelin, you’re just seeing politics as usual and not the sort of new way of doing things that he promised. I’m getting a lot of push back against the Liberals at the door. It’s probably the most common thing I hear. It just speaks for itself.”
Lloyd sees the region as one full of opportunities with companies ready to move into the Atcheson Business Park and the Alberta Industrial Heartland.
“I think there is a lot of potential for us to grow, and diversify our economy,” Lloyd said. “I think our conservative plan will definitely add some momentum to that direction in this country. It will definitely benefit our region.”
For more information on Dane Lloyd, visit his website at https://www.sturgeonriver.ca.