January 18th, 2020

Harder targets water pollution, drugs in federal election campaign kickoff


By Mabell, Dave on September 13, 2019.

Herald photo by Ian Martens Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder. @IMartensHerald

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge’s incumbent Member of Parliament promised action on water pollution and the opioid crisis Thursday, the second day of Canada’s election campaign.

“This election is the most important election in a generation,” Rachael Harder told enthusiastic supporters.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Canadians must reject unethical leaders, the Conservative candidate said.

“It’s time for a government of Canada that cares more about its citizens than about itself.”

Canadians will vote Conservative, she said, because they expect parliamentarians to be principled, hard-working and compassionate.

“This is the very core of Conservative thought,” she added. “We have the ability to make a difference.”

One of the clear differences, Harder indicated, would be the approach a Conservative government would take to environmental protection. It would scrap the carbon tax, would advance “green” technology, would conserve land and protect waterways and habitat.

Conservatives would prevent municipalities from dumping raw sewage on the West Coast and into the St. Lawrence River, she promised.

On the farm front, Harder said a government led by Andrew Scheer would restore trade relationships with China and India, and pursue new markets. It would also encourage energy sector projects.

“We’re going to ensure that pipelines get built,” she told a late-afternoon crowd that packed her small campaign office.

Going further, Harder said Canada should stop relying on imported “blood oil” from sources like Saudi Arabia – “where there are absolutely no human rights in place, and where environmental protections are not even a thought.”

Here at home, she said a Conservative government would crack down on organized crime and provide better support for peace officers. Harder rejected the federal Liberals’ “harm reduction” approach to the opioid crisis, saying a Scheer government would take a different route.

Drug users “deserve the opportunity to detox, they deserve the opportunity to live a life of abstinence. . . the opportunity to pursue jobs, to live in decent housing.”

Alluding to questions being put to Scheer and some other candidates, Harder said the Conservative leader “will always protect your fundamental freedoms, your human rights, and the rule of law.”

While Lethbridge constituency voters have elected Conservative or right-of-centre candidates for many decades, Harder said she’s taking nothing for granted. Along with her campaign volunteers, she’s been door-knocking since June.

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