A week after country musician George Canyon threw his hat into the ring, Paul Arthur, a long-time Miracle Channel TV talk show host, declared his intention to seek the nomination.
Arthur said he’s enjoyed listening to thousands of callers’ opinions over the years, many of them highlighting the need for a return to a “Common sense Canada” with strong family values. He highlighted a few of his priorities.
“Justice issues are important to me as well,” he said, as he mentioned the prostitution industry as an example, which he said currently exists in a bit of a vacuum. “We want to protest the vulnerable, and that’s the ladies out there, and go after organized crime, the pimps and the Johns.”
Keeping our communities safe and making sure spending is held in check are other priorities, he added.
As a fiscal and social conservative, being a good listener to grassroots input from party members and regular Canadians is very important, according to Arthur, who also mentioned reducing taxes, smaller government, continued tough-on-crime measures and creating an environment friendly toward business and agricultural growth will be part of his campaign theme.
“Family farms — we want to see those prosper,” said Arthur, who added the new riding is home to a large number of agricultural operations, many of whom face the same challenges, such as the controversial Country of Origin Labelling program in the United States and difficulties associated with shipping their crops to market via rail.
With the mainly rural composition of the riding, the candidate mentioned his way of thinking is likely echoed by a good percentage of the population.
“It’s a common-sense riding with a grassroots tradition of family values. You do find smaller cities and rural ridings a little more friendly towards those conservative, traditional policies so in that sense, it’s a good riding to run in.”
With a media background, Arthur added his lack of political experience will be balanced by the knowledge he has gained over the years in radio and television.
“I have experience listening to people and I have interviewed many members of Parliament over the years,” said Arthur, who’s also chatted with cabinet members and Liberal MPs over this nine-year radio career and 14 years in television.
He added a recurring complaint from callers has been the heckling and jeering that too often takes place between MPs in question period, making the exchange of ideas and debate almost impossible. Arthur said he’d make it a priority to see members of parliament earn the respect of Canadians by keeping the dialogue civil and focused on the issues, rather than on personal attacks.
As for going up against a celebrity candidate like Canyon, Arthur mentioned the nomination race won’t come down to who has the biggest profile, but who is willing to do the work and connect with constituents with “Boots on the ground,” which will include a door-knocking campaign on his part.
“I think George is a good guy, and I think you are going to have a number of good people running.”
Arthur and his wife, Heather, together with their children, live on an acreage in the Monarch area. More information in his nomination campaign can be found at http://www.paularthur.ca
The date for the Bow River federal conservative nomination has yet to be determined.