Talking politics, economy and signing an iPad with Prime Minister Stephen Harper
In a recent visit to Winnipeg, we received a call from Prime Minister Harper’s press office asking if we would be interested in a private one-on-one interview.
Even on the short notice and without hesitation, we accepted. Prime Minister Harper dropped into Winnipeg prior to flying to the G20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea. He was there to visit Julie Javier’s campaign office and sit in a small business round table discussion.
As the Conservative candidate for Winnipeg North, Julie Javier, if elected on the November 29th by-election, will be the first Filipina Member of Parliament (MP). Not to get ahead of that prospect, voters of Winnipeg North head to the polls on Monday, November 29th.
Prime Minister Harper also indicated many Conservative firsts – first Japanese-Canadian cabinet minister, the first Chinese-Canadian MP, first Black Canadian MP and first Aboriginal Senator. As a Filipino community, we should be extremely proud of our fellow Filipinos who are stepping up to become public servants.
Prime Minister Harper bluntly indicated that having an elected member in government will help the Winnipeg North riding address key by-election issues including crime and as an MP in government, will bring projects to the riding. Harper indicated, “Julie Javier is the only candidate running for a party that is tough on crime, that will keep your taxes down, that supports families and jobs and will give this riding a voice in the government of Canada.”
He went on to indicate and re-iterate the Conservative anti-crime agenda and the need for tougher and meaningful laws against violent crime. As well, through the government’s Economic Action Plan, recreational infrastructure projects are happening in Winnipeg North.
On the matter of immigration settlement fees, the primary goal as indicated by the Prime Minister was to protect the integrity of the immigration and refugee process. Their initiatives are focused on reunifying families and promoting a strong and healthy immigration program. The government has tripled immigrant settlement funding which is normally delivered by the provinces. He invited further discussions specifically with Minister Jason Kenney, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister.
The government will continue to manage those relationships and initiatives. On credentials, the government’s focus is to ensure the maximum use of skills and experience of new immigrants. Efforts continue to resolve the huge challenge when it comes to professional credentials.
When it comes to small business, the Prime Minister kicked off pre-budget consultations with small business owners. Harper stated that key initiatives for small business included red-tape reduction commissions and lowering of personal and corporate taxes. The economy remains to be the number one priority of this government.
Earlier this year, during a rally, US President Obama signed an iPad. After seeing it on the internet, this would be a great opportunity for another historical first. After several practice signatures, the third one was the charm and one for the history books. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first digital signature!