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Pastoor wants to be voice for Western Canada, agriculture

Diane Pastoor of the Maverick Party held a town hall meeting in Humboldt.
Diane Pastoor at Town Hall
Diane Pastoor, Maverick Party candidate for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, held a town hall meeting at Humboldt's Pioneer Hotel on Sept. 7.

HUMBOLDT — Diane Pastoor is running for office because she wants to show her kids and grandkids that she's doing something about how Western Canada is treated.

“I'm worried about their future and instead of just sitting on the couch complaining about it, I wanted to be part of the solution,” the Maverick Party candidate for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek said.

“Being part of the solution would be to get our economy going, to get our resource industry going, to support our farmers and get rid of this carbon tax, and make sure that we in the West are being heard.”

Pastoor and her campaign team held a town hall at Humboldt’s Pioneer Hotel on Sept. 7.

The Maverick Party aims to be the equivalent of the Bloc Québécois for the four western provinces. Because the majority of Canada’s seats are in the east, the party says the west’s interests are ignored. This can be seen with equalization payments, the lack of progress on pipelines to ship energy resources to market, or the carbon tax.

With the carbon tax in particular, with the Conservative Party’s decision to have their own form of carbon pricing, the Maverick Party said that shows the Conservatives are more focused on attracting eastern votes rather than stand up for the west.

The Mavericks are calling for more autonomy for the western provinces. They point to Quebec, which has its own tax collection agency, police force, immigration rules and pension plan, as well as being declared a distinct nation – a distinct culture – within Canada, and ask why that couldn’t happen in the west

“They’re still part of Canada. Why couldn't we in the West have those same benefits? We've got the people, we've got the landmass, we've got the money, we've got the resources,” Pastoor said. “We just need the opportunity to let us do it.”

The Mavericks said they have a twin track approach to try to achieve greater fairness and self-determination for Western Canadians. 

The first track is about getting constitutional changes, which would include a guarantee provinces can bring goods to market, an amendment to prevent intrusion by Ottawa into areas of provincial jurisdiction or interests without prior consent, adding the right to own property to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ensure that no federal government seeks to revive the now-obsolete power of disallowance or reservation of provincial legislation, and reform the Senate so every province has the same number of seats elected by the people.

The second track, if the first one doesn’t work, is to call for a referendum for the western provinces to separate from Canada.

The Mavericks are running 30 candidates in this election, all in the four western provinces and three territories.

“All 30 of us are small business owners,” Pastoor said. “None of us are career politicians. We're all just frustrated moms and dads, regular citizens that just wanted to make a difference.”

Pastoor, a small grain operation and a bison rancher from the Dalmeny area who’s been elected to the board of directors for the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan as well as the Chicken Farmers of Canada, said if elected, she wants to be a voice for agriculture.

“I think as far as agriculture goes, my role here today, as a Maverick, is to be in the House of Commons and say no to that carbon tax,” she said, adding later that farmers have to heat barns, dry grain and get crops off the field. “I'm going to tell them this isn't right for the farmers. We cannot afford to keep paying these high gas prices.”

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