Laval candidate touted for cabinet post

Roland Dick: “Political wind shifting”

By Robert Frank

Roland Dick  (pronounced ‘deeke’) could find himself sitting at the cabinet table in Ottawa after Oct. 19.

“It’s important that Roland becomes your representative in Ottawa, that he join the Conservative caucus and be around the cabinet table when important decisions are made,” Small Business Minister Maxime Bernier told reporters during a visit to Laval les Îles riding, Sept. 22.

Bernier was on hand last week to officially open the Conservative communication centre in Chomedey, where the riding continues to attract new volunteers, who now number more than 160, Dick’s campaign manager Ailsa Pehi told The Suburban.

Bernier’s visit was the latest in a steady stream of federal cabinet ministers to visit the riding since Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicked off the Conservative’s national campaign in Chomedey last month.

Niqab ban boosts Conservatives

“I witnessed strong support for Roland when I campaigned door-to-door with him,” he said. “We can feel it. This is not someone whom we have parachuted in.”

“You can feel the political wind shifting direction,” Dick agreed. “Laval wants change.”

According to Elections Canada data, the Conservatives garnered strong support in Chomedey—Laval’s poorest district—during the 2011 election. Poll results last week showed support slipping for the rival New Democratic Party (NDP), which had hitherto dominated in the wealthier neighbourhoods in the west and north of Laval.

As this week’s edition of The Suburban went to press, polls put the Conservative party within reach of another majority government, as some support shifted to the Conservatives in Quebec. The big losers were the NDP. An overwhelming majority of Quebec voters opposed the NDP’s unwavering willingness to let women to cover their face with a niqab during citizenship ceremonies.

“It’s a Canadian value to preserve the equality of men and women,” Bernier asserted, vowing that the Conservatives will legislate within the first hundred days after it is re-elected. “We’re the only party that insists on respect, and the public is behind us.”

Bernier ridiculed local Liberal candidate Fayçal El Khouri for promising to provide new hospitals and subway stations, if his party forms the next government.

“He doesn’t understand the Canadian constitution,” Bernier observed. “He wants to take money from Canadians to give to civil servants in Ottawa to run projects that aren’t even under federal jurisdiction.”

Bernier also took a poke at Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s claim that most small businesses are merely a tax dodge for the wealthy.

“It’s an insult to entrepreneurs,” he thundered, praising their contribution to the strength of Laval’s economy. “It’s discouraging to hear someone who wants to become prime minister say such things. He should be thanking them for creating jobs and wealth and paying their taxes. We’re committed to cutting red tape, lowering taxes and putting more money where it belongs—in Canadians’ pockets.”

150922 Maxime Bernier - Roland Dick - Château Taillefer-Lefon - Laval

“It’s important that Roland be around the cabinet table when important decisions are made,” declared Maxime Bernier (left). (Photo © Robert Frank)

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