By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
With the federal election now in the rear view mirror, Colin Carrie can settle into a familiar role – Oshawa’s Member of Parliament.
After all 240 polls in Oshawa reported, Carrie won with 38.9 per cent of the vote, and is now MP for the sixth straight term.
Despite some animosity between the federal leaders, Carrie feels the election wasn’t nasty on a local level.
“I’ve been through other campaigns,” he says. “I would say at the national level, there was a lot of animosity between the campaigns during certain periods. But locally, I was impressed.”
He believes Oshawa fielded a good team of candidates in a very unique situation, noting Communist Party candidate Jeff Tomlinson added a different perspective to the table.
“You don’t have to be enemies when you’re in politics, you can be opponents and there’s a lot of respect that you have because it’s not easy for somebody to put their name on a ballot,” says Carrie.
Carrie also notes he’s impressed with the turnout from young voters. He believes young people are engaged in politics, and overall, he thought there was a good campaign locally.
“There’s always a few shenanigans that happen, whether it’s with vandalism with signs or things along those lines, but I would say politics doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I still think it’s a noble profession, and it’s great to see it when very good candidates step up and put their name on the ballot,” he says.
Looking to the future, Carrie has his eyes set on two bills he brought forward during the last term, one on human trafficking, and one on the rights of victims. He’s also looking at a third one regarding personal privacy.
“We all hear about the different companies collecting personal data and personal information, while many people don’t understand the Liberals made changes to StatsCan that is making some of their data collection quite intrusive,” says Carrie.
He explains he heard on the campaign trail from people who are worried about Statistics Canada, particularly about the collection of personal data such as banking information.
“People are finding that is quite scary for them because StatsCan has already been hacked, and if you’re a crook and you want to hack a database that has some really good data in it, and if Canadians’ data is being held in one area, there’s some concern about that,” he says. “So I’m looking at coming up with a private member’s bill to fix the open doors the Liberals put into their legislation that would allow Stats Canada to be a little too intrusive.”
Carrie had also tabled a private member’s bill which sought to make amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada, and the Judges Act regarding human trafficking.
He’d hoped to remove a need for the Crown Attorney to prove a victim of human trafficking fears the accused to get a conviction. He also hoped to better educate judges on human trafficking.
But, according to Carrie, the bill is currently dead due to the election.
Carrie notes there is always a chance he won’t be able to bring his bills forward again, but if that is the case, he has a solution.
“What I’m preparing for is that if I don’t get [a chance to bring them forward], I’ll have colleagues of mine who are looking to introduce something and I’ll have legislation ready for them to go,” he says.
Carrie says it doesn’t matter to him if he’s the one to bring the bills forward, what’s important is they are able to make a difference for people
Another issue Carrie wants to address is affordability, noting he heard about this many times on the campaign trail.
“Whether it was seniors concerned about the cost of living going up, their groceries, or worried about the long-term effects of the carbon tax – because it is now going to be in for some time, and we know they’re going to raise it, so how’s that going to effect costs?” Carrie asks.
He’s also worried about Canada’s competitiveness, noting Husky laid off one-third of its workforce in Canada, and is moving to the United States.
“I was listening to manufacturers who are trying to make decisions, good Canadian companies that want to stay in Canada, but they’re finding mostly bad Liberal policies,” he says.
He explains one manufacturer told him the company is expanding, just not in Canada.
“It’s because of bad Liberal policy. We have the highest electrical rates in North America. These new environmental rates Trudeau has brought in, nobody understands them, they’re not even clear on what it’s going to cost us, and now we have the carbon tax and we don’t know how high that’s going to go,” says Carrie.
He adds the U.S. has competitive rates, no carbon tax, and regulations which have been in place for a while, so companies know what it will cost.
“These decisions are being made due to bad policy decisions by the government,” he says. “Not that we’re against things like carbon taxes or whatever, but the uncertainty that this brings unto our nation, is not a good place to make our future investments unless something changes.”