Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper with Nipissing-Timiskaming Conservative candidate Peter Chirico and party faihful. Photos by Bill Tremblay, Special to BayToday.ca..
Is the tide turning in the federal election?
Local Nipissing-Timiskaming Conservatives think so, and for the second time during this campaign--his third visit since November--party leader Stephen Harper made a stop in North Bay.
Local campaign supporters were entertained this afternoon by a carefully crafted soundtrack comprised of Canadian artists while they waited anxiously over an hour for the leader to appear.
Timing is everything and as the chorus of Bryan Adams song chimed through the room “Let’s start this thing we started” the leader arrived and the crowd erupted with ‘Harper, Harper’.
In a room filled to capacity at the Davedi Club on Airport Road, Harper outlined what his government would do including a $1,200 a year childcare allowance and keeping the FedNor program.
Harper even went so far as to say his recent gain in the polls and popularity in Quebec has Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe nervous.
“We’re going to have seats in every region and we’re going to deliver,” he told the crowd.
“We’re starting to pull votes away from the Bloc and that’s a good thing for the country.”
“The Liberals have badly tarnished the notion of federalism.”
Harper continued to outline his platform re-confirming his GST tax cuts, his first bill The Federal Accountability Act, and cracking down on crime.
“The Liberals have spent too much time forcing duck hunters to register their guns then cracking down on crime.”
He told the crowd that a Conservative government will crackdown on illegal guns and the criminals who use them.
“No more house arrest or automatic parole, you do serious crime you do serious time.”
Feeling the spirit of the room, Harper talked about health care wait times, senior tax shelters and offering tax cuts for transit users.
Harper even touched on the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. saying he would support the industry with loan guarantees unlike the Liberals.
“We’re not going to stand back like school yard bullies shouting from a safe distance.”
Wrapping up the whistle-stop visit, Harper said that he would never insult the men and women in service and that he intends to move Canadian Parliament closer to an American style of government by initiating an elected senate.
“You’ve seen the past, I invite you to see the future.”