Though not official until the federal NDP Okanagan Coquihalla constituency hold its nomination meeting this weekend, the association has all but chosen its candidate for the next federal election.
With the deadline up for putting one’s name forward, David Finnis will likely take the nomination by acclamation at the NDP’s riding meeting this Saturday at the Penticton library-museum auditorium at 1 p.m.
A three-term Summerland municipal councillor and community librarian at the Okanagan Regional Library, Finnis said he wants to go to Ottawa as the riding’s MP in order to restore integrity and respect to Parliament.
“There is a whole range of issues from climate change to the economy but the one that led me to put my name forward is the whole ethics issue which seems to be broadening every week with the new Conservative scandals,” said Finnis, pointing out that if the Conservative government is found in contempt of parliament — a vote on the matter could take place as early as today — it would be the first time in history a federal government has faced such a censure.
“The regard for how they treat the opposition, the institution and, through it, the people is troubling. The fact that they actually can’t come out with the numbers to justify the fighter jets and that they can’t come out with numbers to explain how much the crime bills and mega-prisons will cost. These are the guys that are suppose to be the fiscal managers and they won’t come forward with the numbers. Then there is the whole issue with Bev Oda. Did she sign the memo? Did she not sign the memo? She has put the blame on her staff when it was her decision to cancel the money to Kairos. It is all of these kinds of things that I find pretty reprehensible.”
On the economy, Finnis criticized both the Conservatives’ and, before them, the Liberals’ stewardship of the country’s corporate tax regime which he noted was reduced by seven per cent under the Paul Martin government and then by another seven per cent, in staged increments, under Stephen Harper.
“It has been a big tax shift from corporations on to the average taxpayer,” said Finnis. “With our party, Jack Layton has asked for additional support for seniors, a guaranteed annual income supplement and other stuff like that … So, we have been presenting policies to make it better economically.”
Finnis said that nine years of cooperation on Summerland council working with those who have conflicting political sensibilities has given him the skills to reach compromise in Ottawa.
“That is one of the things I see really lacking in our parliament. They don’t reach across the floor,” he said, pointing to an animal cruelty bill proposed by a Liberal MP in response to the infamous post-Olympic Whistler sled-dog cull which he fears may die on the order papers.
“That is the kind of thing where you should reach across party lines on,” he said.
“Now is the time to take this commitment to Ottawa and work on behalf of all Okanagan Coquihalla constituents.”