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Conservatives send White Rock Whip to Penticton to protest carbon tax

The rally was one of many campaign-style events across Canada targeting Liberal and NDP MPs
Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, representative for South Surrey—White Rock, and Chief Opposition Whip visited Penticton on March 26 to spur local opposition to the federal carbon tax. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

The Federal Conservatives continued their push for the South Okanagan - West Kootenay riding with a visit from MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the representative for South Surrey—White Rock and Chief Opposition Whip.

Findlay, and about a dozen Conservative supporters — including potential Conservative candidates Gary Johal, Dan Ashton, and Chris Pequin — set up in front of current NDP MP Richard Cannings’ constituency office.

The rally is part of a national effort by the Conservatives to go after NDP and Liberal MPs who voted to support an increase to the carbon tax. The campaign’s simple phrases of ‘Spike the Hike’ and ‘Axe the Tax’ were present both on signs and in Findlay’s speech.

“Things weren’t like this eight years ago before [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau,” said Findlay. “Once he’s gone, things aren’t going to be like this any more.”

Findlay pointed to recent polling that found a majority of Canadians opposed an increase to the carbon tax, alongside opposition from provincial leaders.

“Seven out of 10 premiers agree with us and there’s been polling that shows that 70 per cent of Canadians agree as well,” said Findlay.

READ MORE: Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to workers in Penticton

When pressed on how Conservatives would take on the battle against climate change, which has worsened conditions that contributed to wildfires and deep freezes that have devastated local businesses, Findlay had to be asked multiple times for a concrete example.

Findlay responded by stating Conservatives would support green innovation by pushing liquid natural gas usage and export and cited an Edmonton company that turns plastic waste into burnable gas instead of putting it into landfills.

Conservative Leader Pierre Pollievre has held multiple recent rallies on “Axing the Tax.”

Findlay’s visit, and other similar events against MPs who supported the carbon tax, brought up a question about how campaign-focused the Conservatives appear to be given an election is still likely more than a year away instead of working towards alternative solutions with other members of parliament.

Findlay stated that as Chief Opposition Whip, she cooperates and works to make sure issues in Parliament are able to move forward smoothly, but that there is no appetite for cooperation or finding common ground with the other parties on issues.

“We will never cooperate with a costly coalition that keeps taking money out of the pockets of Canadians and pushing it to these bureaucratic mills as I call them,” said Findlay.

“Canadians should feel that when they go to work they should keep the money they earn. They should pay their taxes, nobody’s complaining about that, but they should keep a healthy enough portion that they can afford to live, so we will never cooperate with that.”

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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