Liberals and Green Party swaying voters

Kristine MacDougall
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Grenfell - With the Canadian election campaign entering its final week, the Liberal Party and the Green Party are taking a stand on the issues that matter most to Canadians across the country.
"The economy and the uncertainty of it," said Marlin Belt, Liberal candidate for the riding of Souris-Moose Mountain. "The other (important issue) is the environment."
While the economy and the environment are at the top, on the list of concerns for many Canadians today, Belt says that despite the uncertainty, Saskatchewan is in a unique position.
"This is the year farmers have been waiting for for 25 years. Saskatchewan is essentially, other than hog and cattle, firing on all cylinders," Belt said of the recent economic boom in southern Saskatchewan. "Though it's creating certain problems too in terms of the boom. Costs and inflation are going up," he said referring to the increasing costs of housing and energy. "You don't have to ask too many farmers what it was like to put diesel in their tractors this year - it was unpleasant. So they need those commodity prices being at $10/bushel. Those kind of rising costs, without necessarily rising revenues are certainly a concern," explained Belt.
On the issue of the Liberals green shift plan and the proposed carbon tax, Belt says implementing such a tax is a necessity today.
"Countries are going to stop doing business with us if we don't cut down on our emissions (and use) because, per capita, (Canada) is one of the highest emitters in the world," said Belt pointing to what the Liberals feel is the Conservatives ineffective plan for carbon control.
"They're taking a more regulatory approach to try and control carbon and they're taking a much longer term, which I think frankly is far too long," said Belt adding "the longer we put it off, the more expensive it's going to be."
Belt, who has run for the Liberal party both provincially and federally before, feels ready to step into the role of MP for Souris Moose-Mountain. He also believes that Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is more than ready to be Prime Minister.
He is, says Belt, the type of politician many Canadians are looking for today.
"He's honest, he's got integrity and he listens to people. That's what's driving him - he has a real passion for people," said Belt adding "He's the kind of politician Canadians would like to vote for, and here's our chance."
Green Party candidate for the riding of Souris-Moose Mountain is Bob Deptuck, of Rocanville, SK.
He and his party also believe that there are two important issues that need to be the focus of this campaign.
"We really feel that the shortfalls of the Conservative government need to be addressed - both in the economy and especially the environment," Deptuck said in a phone interview last week. "It seems that's what our main concerns are in this area."
Deptuck also expressed the Green Party's views on the boom in southern Saskatchewan.
"The southeast is booming right now with oil and gas exploration and potash development, we're doing really well," he said noting the associated costs and concerns that are part of such a boom.
"I think people are really concerned about the environmental issues that come with a booming economy," explained Deptuck. "From excess traffic and damage to our roads to pollution. The Green Party really wants a balanced approach...we're fully committed to all aspects of the economy and good government."
Deptuck says that the Green Party's carbon tax will improve the economy, create green jobs and improve the environment.
"We really want to make sure that all costs associated with carbon are paid for, and that includes health and welfare and social problems. That's what the purpose of the carbon tax is," he said adding "We're going to punish those people who waste our resources and we're going to make sure that people, like farmers are going to get a type of an allowance to offset the high cost of fuel - that money's going to come from the carbon tax,"
Deptuck said noting that Europe has already switched to a green economy.
And like Liberal candidate Marlin Belt, Bob Deptuck feels he is prepared to represent the constituents of Souris- Moose Mountain in Ottawa.
"I'm ready to stand up."

Organizations: The Green Party, Liberal Party, Conservatives

Geographic location: Souris-Moose Mountain, Saskatchewan, Southern Saskatchewan Canada Rocanville Europe Moose Mountain Ottawa

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