“I hope to be calling you prime minister soon,” one Kelownian told Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer during his visit to Kelowna on Canada Day.
But Scheer wasn’t just visiting to take in the fireworks. He was visiting to promote MP hopeful Tracy Gray.
“There’s a lot of frustrations with the local MP,” Scheer said about Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr. “There’s a real feeling that he sold people out.”
“He does what Justin Trudeau tells him to do, not what the voters of Kelowna tell him to do.”
“That’s classic politics,” Fuhr responded. “The unemotional, non-partisan truth is we’ve had the best federal investment in the history of our community.”
The national caucus in 2017, pre-budget consultations and over $150 million in federal investment are all general accomplishments Fuhr recalled as examples that debunk Scheer’s statement.
“What’s he going to say? That I’m doing a great job?”
In 2017, during Bill Morneau’s “attack on small businesses,” Scheer said Fuhr supported the tax hikes before the Liberals slackened up and brought new approaches to the legislature.
It would seem as though this was the main selling point for conservative MP candidate Tracy Gray, as both she and Scheer spoke up about the conservatives commitment to small businesses.
“Tracy is going to reverse that,” Scheer said. “Tracy is going to be a strong voice for Kelowna and the people here and that’s why we need her representing the riding.”
“I think one of the main reasons why I decided to run was because of some of the changes that were being imposed on small business,” Gray said.
Gray and Scheer both emphasized the importance of listening to the people, citing that 85 per cent of businesses in Kelowna are small- to medium-sized enterprises.
“Anybody with an internet connection and some critical analysis could pull up in about five seconds that I was pretty vocal about the initial tax changes,” Fuhr said, noting he was one of the few MPs that later opposed Morneau’s proposed tax hike and pushed for amendments.
Fuhr has been quoted on multiple occasions about his “non-partisan” commitment to the Kelowna-Lake Country riding and its residents, rather than vouching for his Liberal successors.
In the past few weeks, Fuhr, along with municipal and provincial partners have cut-the-ribbon on two water treatment plants, the Pelmewash Highway and broke ground on the Multi-Generational Activity Centre in Lake Country alone. All of which were largely funded by the federal government.
“I’m quite proud of what the federal government has done for our riding and my ability to help facilitate that,” Fuhr said.