Prince George Free Press
Bring it on, says the Conservative candidate in Cariboo-Prince George, Dick Harris.
“I’m very proud of my record and I’ll be campaigning on it,” Harris said Tuesday in response to criticisms from both the Green and New Democrat candidate that the 17-year veteran MP has been ‘invisible’ in the riding. “I’ll be very pleased to stand up in public and talk about that.”
Green candidate Heidi Redl, when asked about Harris, didn’t want to be negative, however she mentioned that Mclean’s magazine once ran a picture of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and an “unidentified man,” who was, indeed, Harris.
“Surely we deserve better than that,” she said.
New Democrat candidate Jon Van Barneveld said the harmonized sales tax issue showed that “Harris is not in touch with the people of the province,” and that “the North has been let down by Dick Harris and the Conservatives,” pointing out specifically that much of the $1 billion promised to deal with the aftermath of the pine beetle epidemic has yet to materialize.
Harris, however, said the opposition parties setting their sights on him is nothing new.
“The opposition say that every election,” he said. “And this is my sixth as an incumbent.”
He pointed to the recently announced funding to help Canfor deal with odour problems here in Prince George, and other big announcements to help mills in Williams Lake and Quesnel along with the recent $46 million announcement to help West Fraser as testament to how he has been able to deliver federal dollars back to the riding.
“I’ve yet to Heidi Redl or Jon Van Barneveld at any of those announcements,” he said.
Harris also responded to a question that has dogged him for a couple of weeks now … whether he is living in the riding.
“I’ve lived in the riding for 52 years,” he said. “That’s longer than any of my opponents have been alive. I know the riding pretty well.”
Harris also said much of the work he does doesn’t make headlines.
“There are thousands of people we have assisted through the riding office,” he said. “None of that makes the news but it makes a difference in the lives of people we help.”