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Incumbent MP heads out on campaign trail

Voters head to the polls on Sept. 20
MP Dr. Kitchen speech
MP Dr. Robert Kitchen has been ready to go on the campaign trail for a while now.

The federal election call on Sunday came as no surprise to Dr. Robert Kitchen, the incumbent Conservative MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, and with a short campaign, he has his plans and people in place for hitting the campaign trail.

“We’ve been preparing for this for quite a while,” he said on Monday, noting they initially thought the election would’ve been called last year when the prime minister prorogued Parliament, and then again in the spring. Now, voters will be heading to the polls on Monday, Sept. 20.

For Kitchen, the top issues for the Souris-Moose Mountain riding will be about the economy and getting people back to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There have been a lot of jobs lost, particularly under this government, in our oil and gas sector, at the coal plants and in local businesses, and with the challenges the pandemic has put on the economy,” he said. “Securing jobs is important.”

The Conservatives have a goal to bring one million jobs back within a year, both in small businesses and in small industries as well as medium and large ones, and another issue is to increase accountability in government.

Kitchen pointed out that the prime minister has had numerous allegations of wrong-doing, including showing contempt of Parliament after the majority of the House had voted on an issue and Trudeau simply ignored that to go ahead with his own agenda.

“We want new anti-corruption laws in place,” said Kitchen, adding the Conservatives also want to secure better services for mental health, especially in the wake of the pandemic, and propose a new Canada Mental Health Act to be enacted.

He said the party also wants to ensure that Canada is not caught without essential products like this government was to respond to the pandemic, products like PPE and vaccine supplies.

“We need to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Kitchen, adding the Conservatives also want to ensure there is a goal for a balanced budget. He pointed out this won’t happen overnight, as it will take a number of years to accomplish considering the level of debt the Liberals are currently operating under.

“We have a government that is spending billions of dollars. It’s going to be our grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will be paying for it,” said Kitchen. “For that to happen, we have to get the economy going.”

The impact of this drought on farmers and ranchers also needs to be dealt with, he added.

Kitchen has his campaign office in Estevan ready to open, and has signs ready to be put up as soon as they are able.

One challenge he is facing is a very large constituency that covers the entire southeast corner of the province, and a short election campaign time with voting to take place on Sept. 20.

Kitchen pointed out he put on nearly 10,000 km on his vehicle in the last election two years ago. “It’s going to be tight for setting up meetings with people,” he said, noting his campaign manager will ensure he can coordinate candidates forums in the larger communities within this short time-frame.