CARP – Liberal candidate and current Member of Parliament, Karen McCrimmon says things have been good, but there’s still work to do.
“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done in less than three years,” McCrimmon told West Carleton Online from Alice’s Village Café on Monday, Aug. 26.
The 42nd Canadian general election was held Oct. 19, 2015. McCrimmon won easily over Conservative Walter Pamic in a riding that saw nearly an 80 per cent turnout in the new riding that formerly included more of Lanark County and less of Kanata. It was part of a red wave that swept out the Stephen Harper government and ushered in Justin Trudeau’s first term as Prime Minister.
McCrimmon, a Constance Bay resident, says she’s proud of what she’s done in the House of Commons.
“What happens in the legislation and the solutions you come up with,” she said. “We’ve taken 850,000 Canadians out of poverty. 300,000 are children. The Canada Child Benefit has given a lot relief to young families.”
McCrimmon says the government’s “targeted investments” in hi-tech, agriculture and manufacturing “have created more than one million jobs.”
The Liberal MP expects voters will be focused on the environment this election.
“That’s a big one,” McCrimmon said. “That’s a big one. We have to do a better job on the environment.”
While McCrimmon says the environment will be an important election issue, she doesn’t think the extreme flooding West Carleton faced last spring is solely a climate issue.
“My experience in flood safety, and when your talking about any disaster, you are talking about multiple factors and you have to line them all up,” she said.
Heading in to the election, McCrimmon hopes her government is judged on what they have done, and what they still can do.
“It’s really about the good work we’ve accomplished and continuing to move forward,” she said. “We have to address the challenges on the horizon. I look at the talent of the coming generation and we’ll be fine. Rather than focus on the negative, I choose to look forward and we will accomplish whatever we need to.”
McCrimmon knew she would be running for a second term a long time ago, and has been canvassing for a long time. She says canvassing is an important part of the job as it lets her know what the community wants from their federal representative.
“I hear about the flooding,” McCrimmon says of what’s on the minds of her constituents these days. “That’s a big one. Jobs in the rural areas. Could we do better still? I think so.”
McCrimmon says she hits the sidewalks about once or twice a week “and we’ll be ramping that up in September. And we have the Carp Fair to look forward to. I always have a ball. That’s always the easiest way to connect with people.”
Five days before the start of the Carp Fair is another important date in West Carleton history – it is the first anniversary of the West Carleton tornado.
“There’s such resilience in this community and so many caring neighbours,” McCrimmon said. “I love it.”
The Liberal platform hasn’t been released yet – the writ hasn’t even dropped, but McCrimmon says it will be representative of her riding.
“We’ve all had the opportunity to put input in to the platform, but right now we don’t know what it will look like,” she said. “Only the Platform committee does.”
Having said that, McCrimmon has some favourite issues she hopes are addressed in the platform.
Pharmacare is one, “I want more on that,” she said.
McCrimmon would also like to see an investment in infrastructure.
“It’s been 20 years,” she said. “Although you have to go in to debt, it pays you back.”
While she’s happy with her party’s work on poverty, “I think we can do even better. We have the potential to be global leaders. It doesn’t matter if it’s hi-tech or agriculture – why not make those targeted investments? I’m a very pragmatic person. I can be aspirational, but I want a plan that’s achievable and people can buy in to.”