Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr introduces Justice Minister David Lametti at Hillcrest Farm to introduce a federal investment into the cherry industry on Aug. 13. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr introduces Justice Minister David Lametti at Hillcrest Farm to introduce a federal investment into the cherry industry on Aug. 13. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

‘Vilification’ of Trudeau hurts campaign: MP Stephen Fuhr

Nonetheless, Fuhr stands by the Liberal leader

If you strip away the partisanship and political associations, Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr said he is feeling good about the upcoming election.

But what happens if you don’t strip those away?

“(People) get caught up with the vilification of the prime minister,” Fuhr said. “Most of the things that are used to justify how people feel about (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) aren’t even true.”

Claims Trudeau is a weak presence on the world stage are incorrect, according to Fuhr, who also serves as the chairman of the National Defence Committee.

“When I travel around, there’s nothing but kudos and high-fives for Canada,” Fuhr said. “And they love the prime minister.”

That’s just one of the claims the MP chose to debunk.

Fuhr’s depiction of the prime minister may not further his bid for a second-term, as even he admits his tag as a Liberal in the Trudeau administration may hurt his campaign rather than secure it.

READ MORE: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls out local MP during Canada Day visit

READ MORE: Okanagan voters challenge Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

The SNC-Lavalin issue has been a problem for the prime minister, with an Angus Reid Institute poll March 28 putting the Conservatives at 37 per cent of the decided and leaning vote, compared to the Liberals 28 per cent.

Since then, the CBC poll tracker which was updated on Aug. 12 showed that the Liberals climbed back up in the polls to 32.8 per cent as the Conservatives dropped to 33.8 per cent.

Most recently, on Aug. 14, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion concluded Trudeau violated Canada’s conflict of interest rules by seeking to influence the criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin, using his position as a political lever.

Fuhr admits the prime minister has been caught in some “gotcha moments” over the last four years but nonetheless he fully supports Trudeau.

“I think he’s done a good job,” Fuhr said.

The MP has long stated his devotion to the Kelowna-Lake Country riding and that he considers himself a representative of the community, rather than of any one political party.

“Whether you vote for the PM, the party or your local representative, what you’re actually voting for is policy,” he said.

READ MORE: Chief Louis calls bluff of Scheer’s sincerity towards Indigenous communities

And according to Fuhr, the policy under Trudeau and the Liberals has been fairly positive — specifically in the areas in which Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative candidate Tracy Gray said the Liberals are deficient.

In 2017, Canada adopted the lowest small business tax out of the Group of Seven countries (G7) at 14.4 per cent. France is second at 15 per cent and Germany is last at 30.2 per cent, according to the Canadian Government.

Further, the Liberals lowered the federal tax rate again in 2019, to nine per cent.

Since the Liberals took office in 2015, unemployment has dropped 0.8 per cent to five per cent, with decreases of about two per cent or more among those with up to eight years of education, including some high school education and some post-secondary education.

The federal election will take place on or before Oct. 21, 2019.



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
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