By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on November 1, 2019.
This month’s ‘From The Hill’ column by MP Rachael Harder
Thank you for your overwhelming support! I am deeply honoured and incredibly humbled to have earned more than 65 per cent of the vote and to have the opportunity to represent you and your family in the House of Commons for another term.
The great thing about my success is that I didn’t achieve it on my own. It takes a dedicated team of volunteers, and a voter base that believes in the vision and leadership my party and I have to offer. My success in the general election is because of you.
In a few days, on Nov. 11, we will observe Remembrance Day. On this day, we will honour the sacrifice made by many of our country’s brave women and men for the sake of freedom and democracy.
In my estimation, there is no better way to celebrate democracy than to participate in the electoral process.
For this reason, I extend my sincere gratitude to Shandi Bleiken, Amy Bronson, Stephnie Watson, Grant Hepworth and Marc Slingerland for putting themselves forward as candidates in this election. Your desire to serve the constituency of Lethbridge is to be commended.
Furthermore, whether you voted for me or not – thank you to each and every citizen who took the time to show up at a polling station and cast your ballot. Your participation matters!
As I look ahead and prepare for the 43rd Parliament, there are two things on my mind: 1) the type of leadership I will offer as the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge; 2) holding the Trudeau government to account.
When the people of Lethbridge granted me my first mandate in 2015 I committed to listening to my constituents and acting on their behalf to the best of my ability. As I step into my second term, I am renewing my commitment to this type of leadership.
We all know it’s impossible to accurately represent every single person within the Lethbridge constituency. People have diverse and divergent views. We don’t all agree. This is where leadership comes in. When it comes to making decisions and voting in the House of Commons, I’ve been given the difficult task of coming to a conclusion that will be appreciated by most, disliked by some, and vehemently opposed by others. As long as we have the freedom to engage in constructive dialogue by seeking understanding, it is my hope that we will create a culture where it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
I will once again seek to listen and understand your viewpoints and concerns by attending hundreds of public events throughout the constituency, by building relationships with local community stakeholders, and by hosting regular public town hall meetings, round table gatherings, one-on-one meetings, and a non-partisan youth advisory board. Your voice matters and I want to provide every opportunity for you to have it heard. Listening followed by action is the type of leadership I will continue to offer.
During the election my team and I knocked on more than 33,000 doors and the main issue that came up over and over again was affordability and the overall state of Canada’s economy. People are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Families are feeling squeezed and many seniors are living in fear of not being able to make it on their fixed income. Others are concerned about the value of their investments and pensions.
Canadians deserve better and the federal government has a key role to play in facilitating an environment of economic prosperity where no ambition is too big and no dream is out of reach – an environment where every Canadian is given maximum opportunity to flourish.
My Conservative colleagues and I have been asked by Canadians to serve as the Official Opposition. As such, it is our responsibility to hold Trudeau and his Liberal government to account. They need to ensure that people of all ages and all backgrounds are able to plan for a vibrant future that includes a stable job, home ownership, and financial stability.
To regain our economic footing as a country, the Liberal government must return to a balanced budget, lower your taxes, draw investment into our country, and create opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed so that jobs are created and economic prosperity is enjoyed by all.
Furthermore, Trudeau needs to ensure that pipelines are built so we can stop relying on blood oil from Saudi Arabia, where human rights don’t exist and environmental protection isn’t even a thought. As we develop Canada’s energy sector, high-paying jobs will be created, and billions of dollars of revenue will result in new hospitals, schools, roads and recreational infrastructure.
Moreover, we need to advance our place on the world stage and seek new export markets. Canada used to be one of the most respected countries in the G20 and enjoyed a positive relationship with the world’s next economic superpower, India. We need to get back to that place of favour and respect!
We also need to diversify and establish positive relationships with new trading partners like Indonesia, and other Asian Pacific countries. Again, my Conservative colleagues and I will be calling on Trudeau to take action in this regard. Here in Lethbridge, where our economy largely rests on agriculture, the advancement of trade is of vital importance. Agriculture is our superpower and our producers deserve to be advocated for by Canada’s prime minister.
As the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge, I would like to thank you once again for trusting me to be your advocate in Ottawa. I look forward to serving you and your family for another term.
My door is always open. If I can be of any assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 403-320-0070 or Rachael.Harder@parl.gc.ca.
Rachael Harder is the Conservative MP for Lethbridge. Her column appears monthly.