Harper makes second visit to KW


On April 27th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a campaign stop at Sports Systems Unlimited in Waterloo, making a campaign announcement and meeting with local candidates for the Conservative Party of Canada.

For Kitchener-Waterloo incumbent and Conservative Party candidate Peter Braid, Harper’s visit gave a boost to the local candidate’s campaigns.

“Whenever the Prime Minister visits it creates great momentum for our campaign and for volunteers,” said Braid in an interview with The Cord, “And it reminds voters that it’s important to have a member of parliament who is a strong voice in government.”

Much like the majority of Harper’s rallies and events, including one on April 8 at Bingemans in Kitchener, the economy was the Prime Minister’s main message.

Harper applauded Gary Goodyear, Peter Braid, Stephen Woodworth and Harold Albrecht, all representatives for the region in Ottawa and thanked the volunteers present at the event.

Harper described the candidates as “four strong representatives for this region in Ottawa.” Adding, “and with your hard work Peter, Stephen, Harold and Gary will be back as your representatives and what we need for the next parliament is a strong, stable majority government.”

To achieve the majority Harper has been campaigning for, his government will need to hold onto these important seats, among them the ridings of Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo, two of the closest contested races in the country during the 2008 election.

“We’re asking for a mandate to take us further in the direction we have been leading Canada,” said Harper to the crowd, “Creating jobs, delivering affordable benefits to families, lowering your taxes and keeping them down.”

Braid also echoed these sentiments calling the economy the “number one priority” of the residents of his riding.

“The voters of Kitchener-Waterloo understand the importance of a strong economy and they also understand that our community has done very well under the leadership of Mr. Harper and the Conservative government,” said Braid.

Highlighted by Harper at today’s event were many promises that emphasized a focus on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Among these were a $1,000 Employment Insurance tax credit for new employees hired by small businesses, the extension of BizPal, an online service for businesses and the providing of $20 million over two years for the Canada Youth Business Foundation, in an effort to generate jobs.

“In addition I am pleased to announce today that we will also legislate a one-for-one rule meaning that for every two regulations government proposes, one will be eliminated,” said Harper. This means that when a new regulation is applied to a business, one in existence will be cut, an effort focused on maintaining economic growth.

Harper’s visit comes on the heels of a 34 per cent increase in voter turnout during advance polls, according to Elections Canada ahead of the May 2nd election.

With the momentum gained by Harper’s visit, Braid said his goals are simple for the remainder of the campaign period.

“Continue to reach out and meet as many people as I can,” Braid said as his first goal. “Reach out specifically to undecided voters in the remaining days to help them make up their minds with what I believe is a clear choice and thirdly to get our supporters out to vote.”

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