SASKTODAY.ca staff reached out to the candidates in all of Saskatchewan's ridings with a universal questionnaire. We will be publishing these results in order they were received.
Name: Kelly Block
Running for: the Conservative Party of Canada in Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek
Profession: Parliamentarian (formerly: a mom/wife homemaker, Director of Administration at Forest Grove Community Church)
Currently residing in (city or neighbourhood): Warman, SK
Previous political experience: Prior to being elected as a federal Member of Parliament in 2008 I was a town councillor and mayor of Waldheim. I also served on the Gabriel Springs Health District Board as well as the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority
Who is your political hero?
John Diefenbaker and Abraham Lincoln, a more recent figure would be Stephen Harper.
What inspired you to enter the election race? What topics are most important to you in this federal election?
I believe the future of our country is at stake. The Trudeau Liberals seem intent on "reimagining" Canada in a way that erodes many of our fundamental freedoms and seeks to divide rather than unite Canadians. We need a federal government that protects our freedoms, will secure our future and unite Canadians.
Are you concerned about the short campaign timeline for this election?
While I have been hearing that people don't agree with an election being called right now, I think five weeks is a decent length of time for a campaign, Even though I would be able to reach more constituents in a longer campaign it is impossible to speak to every one in a riding this size.
What supports, if any, do you feel are needed to help businesses and residents with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have heard from many business owners who are not able to fill vacant positions. At the beginning of the pandemic, Conservatives understood that if governments and health experts were telling businesses to close and Canadians to stay home, financial support was necessary. We also understood that those support programs needed to be structured in such a way as to incentivize people to return to work when it was safe to do so. Our Conservative platform is a roadmap to get Canadians back to work.
What, if any, agricultural federal programs and initiatives do you feel are necessary to help support farmers and ranchers in this year's conditions?
For months, Conservatives have called on the Liberal government to expedite help from existing business risk management programs and to develop a plan to respond in the event of a crop failure from drought which would have a disastrous impact on Canada's supply of grain, oilseeds, pulse crops, and feed for Western beef cattle herds.
Is there an issue that people are focusing too much?
We want to know what is top of mind for the constituents in CT-EC. I am focused on sharing our Conservative plan to Secure the Future with as many voters as I can. I am very encouraged by the response I am getting on the phone and on the doorstep.
Is there an issue that doesn’t get enough attention?
One of the pillars in our plan to Secure the Future is our plan to Secure Accountability. The multiple Trudeau and Liberal scandals have highlighted that Canada needs stronger accountability legislation.
Why did you choose to run for your particular party?
The Conservative Party of Canada represents the values that I hold as an individual. I also believe we are Canadian's best option to defeat the Trudeau Liberals and their NDP allies.
What is the biggest issue facing your party’s chance at success?
I am an optimist. I believe voters in other regions of Canada are beginning to see how harmful the divisive policies of the Liberal government are to the future of Canada.
How will you engage and encourage young voters to participate in this election?
I am on the doorstep practically every day speaking to voters of every age. Additionally, my team and I try to post engaging social media content to reach voters who might be on those platforms.
What is your party’s leader’s biggest flaw?
Erin O'Toole was elected as leader of the Conservative Party during a pandemic. This meant that prior to this campaign, he hadn't been able to travel the country meeting with and speaking to Canadians. I find that as Canadians become more familiar with him, they appreciate his clear and direct style of communication.
Once elected, your job is to represent your entire riding. How do you plan on representing individuals who didn’t vote for you?
Constituents in the riding have widely varying views on matters that are being discussed in the House of Commons. While I deeply respect the views of each constituent, a parliamentarian must ultimately vote one way or the other. In both private and public settings, I take the opportunity to communicate to my colleagues and the caucus leadership the values and concerns raised with me by all my constituents.
What informs your political stance? What books, publications, relationships or experiences?
I do have a small library of books that have shaped some of my views. One that I will highlight is "Team of Rivals", by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
In regards to publications, I tend to read many articles published by numerous daily newspapers. Finally, I certainly benefited from my friendship with Ben Heppner, and my time as a Parliamentarian and a member of the CPC Caucus.
What local project or service would you advocate for more federal spending?
I would like to see more federal support directed to the infrastructure needs of smaller communities.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I was an avid horse owner growing up and took calligraphy (which I still enjoy).