The Maverick Party will have a candidate in Souris-Moose Mountain for its first federal election campaign.
The party announced this past weekend that Dr. Greg Douglas would represent them in this riding for the Sept. 20 election. The Maverick Party (formerly the WExit, or Western Exit Party) will have at least 28 candidates in the election across Western Canada, including seven in Saskatchewan.
“We need an option that was specific to the views of the west, because the mainstream parties have been ignoring us. They’ve been ignoring us in oil and gas. They’ve been ignoring us in agriculture. And they’ve been ignoring us in fair representation,” said Douglas, a Weyburn-area veterinarian and business owner who has worked in Estevan.
He believes the Maverick Party is the best bet to give voters in Souris-Moose Mountain an option in this election.
Douglas voiced support for the party’s call to repeal the carbon tax and to alter equalization payments.
“We’ve seen this government, the current government, implement the carbon tax without caring for the oil and gas industry, or frankly, the revenue and the economic well-being of Saskatchewan and Alberta,” he said.
He believes the carbon pricing plan brought forward by the Conservatives amounts to a carbon tax.
As for equalization, Western Canada continues to pay billions of dollars to central Canada, and the west doesn’t see much coming back in terms of support and fair programming.
“That really reflects the amount of economic and financial contribution the west makes to the rest of Canada,” he said.
Saskatchewan and Alberta also need more representation in the senate.
Douglas said the Maverick Party members are proud Canadians, and their first choice is to work with the federal government to increase autonomy for the west while getting fair representation. If all else fails, they would consider western independence.
“It’s about a fair deal for the west in Canada, and if a fair deal isn’t forthcoming from the rest of Canada, then we should pursue other options,” said Douglas.
This isn’t the first time that Douglas has run for MP. In 1997, he was the candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party in Souris-Moose Mountain, but lost to the late Roy Bailey of the Reform Party.
“I’ve been a conservative the majority of my life. So this is very new for me to move to a brand new party, because I just felt the Conservatives weren’t listening to us anymore,” said Douglas.
Since the 1997 election, he has continued to closely watch politics at different levels.
Douglas said he is looking forward to candidates’ forums that will be happening prior to the election. He hopes constituents who are frustrated will exercise their right to vote.
“I think you’re going to see a significant movement based on the fact that they haven’t felt like they had an option in the past. After Labour Day, when farmers are wrapping things, up, they’ll look at us more closely.”
Other declared candidates in Souris-Moose Mountain are Javin Ames-Sinclair of the Liberal Party, Dr. Robert Kitchen of the Conservative Party and Diane Neufeld of the People’s Party of Canada. Kitchen is the incumbent MP.