By Jamie Rieger
Area residents had a chance to find out more about Conservative candidate, Jim Hillyer’s platform last week when he led meet and greet sessions in Bow Island and Foremost.
Hillier responded to questions from the public about the economy, health care, pensions, national security, infrastructure, and veteran affairs at the session held at the Bow Island Legion.
On infrastructure, Hillyer said, “You invest into new infrastructure with responsibility and most people understand that.
On national security and policing in rural areas: “We are never going to get rid of crime, but that is no reason to stop fighting it. Until recently, our border guards did not even wear guns and we (Conservatives) had to fight the Opposition to get that to happen,” said Hillyer. “Most people are law-abiding citizens, but we have to be willing to give police and other law enforcement agencies the tools they really need. There are organizations that want to do us harm and our government has the responsibility to keep our country and our communities safe,” he said.
Veterans Affairs: “There was billions spent on Veterans when the Conservatives took power. So what’s going on? We try to through money at the problem, but it doesn’t solve the problem,” said Hillyer. “The new Veterans Affair minister wants to do right for our veterans and I am happy with him. He will be a good champion for the veterans.”
When asked about Canada’s Health Care Act and the rising cost of health care, Hillyer said, “The Act is a can of worms some politicians consider to be political suicide, but we have to be willing to talk about it. We have to be willing to talk about our whole system of health care and how we pay for it. Now, every time an MRI is used, we see it as a cost. We need to change that way of thinking. We need to think more about preventative medicine.”
On pipelines: “Our party, our government is pro-pipeline, but the problem is deeper than that. People want our oil to be refined here instead of piped to the U.S., but the upfront costs would be enormous. We need pipelines going in all directions, not just south. A pipeline is a lot less harmful to the environment than not having a pipeline. We need to do a lot more to educate people.”
On the Species at Risk Act and the emergency protection order for the Greater Sage grouse: As much as I don’t like the EPO, I do like that there are checks and balances in place. The legislation needs to be changed. We need the political will to make that happen.