By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A change in leadership may sometimes be tumultuous, however, the Conservative Party of Canada seem to have handled the shift quite nicely and are gearing up for the next election.
With Pierre Poilievre having had half a year to display his merits as a leader, Martin Shields, MP for Bow River, shared his views on the current state of the Conservative Party, as well as discussing some of the challenges that they’re ready to face in the next election.
“The unity behind our leader is very strong, very focused, Pierre Poilievre is very, very focused on what we need to do, and we have total support and commitment behind him to proceed to work for a successful election at the next election call,” said Shields. “That’s the challenge, is providing a message (that) the Liberals with their policies have created a environment economy that is not working for the majority of Canadians, and that we can provide an alternative to that. That’s what we’re working on, in the sense of you hear our concerns about a variety of things. The environment, the economy — economy in particular —security, those types of things, you hear us questioning the government on. In opposition we question the government on a lot of different things. What our concerns are about the economy, about the industry that make our country work, like the resource industry.”
Shields proceeded to comment on what the next step would be to develop policies that they would want to implement.
“Those would then lead to the policies that we would be developing as we get closer to an election on what we would propose to rectify the types of policies the Liberals have been implementing. Gun laws would be one of those. Liberals backed up a little bit on the gun laws. On the bail issue in the sense of law and order. A lot of concern across the country on what to pick as the aspect of the law which releases criminals on bail, and they commit further crimes. Those are the types of things you hear, and our leader talking about. That would be the direction that we would be going, when we are elected.”
From here, Shields went into further details about what areas they would like to see policies developed in.
“Our policy will be developed, but as I said, we are looking to strengthen our resource section as countries around the world, for example, have been in our country — we’re talking about the prime minister of Japan, the chancellor of Germany in our country asking for liquified natural gas, because it is in desperate need and wanted in the world,” said Shields. “We would develop policies that facilitate liquified natural gas being developed and exported along with hydrogen. We would also look at the mineral resources that we have in Canada to do with the development of batteries. We have those rare earth metals in our country but yet this government hasn’t been able to develop policy to provide the opportunity for companies to access those resources that are needed, and we need to do that. Those are the kind of policies in the sense of our economy and resource sector that we need to work at. So you will see policies at those particular ones specifically.”
Shields also touched on how there is going to be an opportunity for ideas that originated from outside of the party to be incorporated within their policies.
“We have a policy convention coming up in the fall,” said Shields. “You will find there will be policies from our grassroots that are put forward as well. The combination of grassroots policy development through convention, the development of what you hear Pierre and members talking about will be further developed, but I think the stream of things along the topic, the economy, the public safety, to do with both the illegal handguns, to do with the bail system that’s out there. You will see policies directed at getting our economy back on track. Eliminating some of the regulations and red tape that keeps us from getting there. Those are the kinds of policies that will be developed in a couple different ways as I said, through grassroots.”