CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA
Occupation: Former faculty member at Red Deer College and Fisheries technician for Alberta Fish and Wildlife
Family: Married with two sons and a daughter
Wetaskiwin incumbent Blaine Calkins has been a Member of Parliament for the last five years and wants to continue serving the constituents in the Central Alberta riding. Calkins won the 2006 election with 75.2 per cent of the votes, and gained a few points in 2008 by taking 77.13 per cent of the votes.
Calkins was born in Lacombe and was raised on a farm north of the town. He believes in keeping the taxes low and having a smaller government. Calkins said the most important issues facing the country right now is economic recovery. He said when the worldwide recession came in 2008, Canada was one of the last countries to go into the recession due to Canada’s policies of the day, which is a low tax agenda for Canadians.
“That’s the most important thing we can do is continue to focus on a low tax agenda to see economic growth and our country has posted six straight quarters of positive GDP growth,” said Calkins. “Technically we are out of the reception but we still have a lot of work to do to make sure we stay on track and on plan and now would be the wrong time to change from that economic action plan.”
Calkins noted there has been roughly 120 tax reductions over the past several budgets. He said the Conservative government has reduced taxes for every Canadian whether it is GST, personal income tax, small business taxes and corporate business taxes all across the board and left more money in the pockets of the Canadians.
Delivery of health care is always on the minds of voters, he said.
Calkins listed a number of initiatives the Conservative government successfully implemented whether it is ensuring there are safe and healthy products for consumers or investing in a national cancer initiative.
He noted the Conservative government is honouring the 2004 health care accords with the province and has increased the transfer to provinces for health spending to six per cent.
“Health care delivery is the jurisdiction of the province so the federal government should be working constructively and co-operatively wherever possible with the provinces but also making sure we live up to our end of the agreement by making sure that there is adequate funding going to the provinces,” said Calkins.