CARP – Federal Conservative candidate Justina McCaffrey has been working on her campaign for the better part of a year and is ready to switch to high gear with 36 days left until the 43rd Canadian general election on Oct. 21.
“I’m used to this fast pace, I really am,” the former wedding dress designer and business owner told West Carleton Online from Alice’s Village Café last Tuesday (Sept. 10). “I like the high pace. That’s how it is in the fashion industry. That’s the tempo I like.”
The extra time has allowed McCaffrey to see a lot of the area. She’s participated in the village Santa Claus parades last wubter, has attended the Carp Farmers’ Market several times this spring, visited some of the businesses and sat down in residents’ homes.
She saw first-hand the damage of last spring’s flooding.
“I was recovering from an injury so wasn’t much help,” McCaffrey said. “I brought Timmy’s. My team was definitely out. Andrew Scheer was out and that was great. Very compassionate.”
McCaffrey talks about her team a lot – she says her team is organized and ready to work.
“I’ve spent the summer door-knocking,” McCaffrey said. “We’re very organized. I aspired to have a team that worked like my factory.”
McCaffrey says she’s recruited several former heads of technology companies to fill key positions on the campaign team.
“They’re retired – they just want to do something,” she said. “But we speak the same language. Through this process, I didn’t have this need to control the operation.”
That means McCaffrey has more time for door-knocking and “face-to-faces.”
“Over and over they’re telling me Trudeau has to go,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey says she wants a better trade deal with the U.S., and a better Internet service for Canadians.
“We’re going to give people proper communications,” she said.
McCaffrey says she’s been keeping her eye on those recovering from last year’s tornado as well. A year later and residents are still having trouble with their insurers.
“We’ve got a lot of issues here and everyone’s waiting to see what happens,” she said.
McCaffrey is also aware of the issues facing the agriculture industry.
“I wish we had a better agreement with the U.S.,” she said. “I’m a supporter of the dairy board. Farmers don’t have time to worry about the marketing, the selling of their product. I’m looking forward to protecting the dairy farmers – they’re good guys.”
Every candidate has circled the upcoming Carp Fair in their calendars and it’s only two weeks away.
“It’s going to be a little bitter-sweet with the anniversary of the tornado,” McCaffrey said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s quite unique. During last year’s tornado fundraiser, I saw someone buy a pie for $600. They wanted it done anonymously. People in the community really do care. It’s a selfless community.”
McCaffrey says the Conservatives are the party that can foster that community.
“The overarching theme is we just want to put more money in your pocket,” McCaffrey said. “Trudeau is still spending billions, but says he has no money for the veterans. I hear many families are only $200 away from a financial tragedy. I believe it and I’m hearing others are too. That’s very stressful. We’re just trying to put more money in their pockets.”
Now that the writ has dropped, McCaffrey is ready to pick up the pace.
“I feel there is a lot of support and I thank the people for that,” she said. “I feel very welcomed by the community even though I come from a not very well known industry, but I’m not taking anything for granted.”