MP celebrates season on ice in Morden

Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen stands with members of the Freund family. Cassandra, Kimberly and Levi took the time to pose for a photo while skating with their favourite MP. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

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Constituents joined MP Candice Bergen on the ice at the Access Event Centre in Morden for the first ever Christmas Skate on Dec. 22.
“I usually do an open house tea in my office which is great, but I thought I wanted to meet some more families,” she said.
Bergen was also preparing for a similar event in Portage, Jan. 6.
“It was lots of fun,” she said of the Morden event. “There was a little bit of talk about politics, but really for the most part, people were just out, kind of in between Christmas shopping and preparing for Christmas. They were just coming and enjoying a little skating.”
Bergen reflected on the highlights of the last year in politics and said the Conservatives have been able to hold the Liberals to account.
“We exposed their motives,” she said, citing the small business tax the Liberals had been promoting. “We pushed that back.”
Bergen said it appears the Liberals have also agreed to drop the attestation signing requirement for the Canada Summer Jobs Program. That requirement meant many faith based groups were unable to hire through the program because of their beliefs regarding abortion.
Bergen said they also helped shed light on convicted murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic being allowed to be in a healing lodge.
“They had to back down on a number of issues like those,” Bergen said. “The hard work that we put into doing what we do every day in Ottawa, we believe that it’s helping Canadians see what Trudeau has done and how failures are really causing consequences for Canadians, but also we’ve been able to push back.”
The Conservative Party itself is also finding growing support. Bergen said they had a successful convention, and won seats in several by-elections.
“It tells a lot when we’re winning seats in Quebec we normally don’t win,” she said.
Bergen said as they highlighted mistakes made the Liberals, Canadians are viewing Conservatives as a government in waiting.
Overall affordability will be a key issue by the next election according to Bergen.
“Canadians are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet,” she said. “They’re seeing taxes going up, they’re seeing this government spending literally billions and billions of dollars whether it’s money abroad, whether it’s buying pipelines for $4 billion that didn’t need to be bought… Canadians see the government going into massive deficits and they know their taxes are going up.”
Those increases by way of carbon tax or payroll tax have effects that Bergen said Trudeau may not even understand.
“We want Canadians to know we understand it’s not easy when you’ve got to make the mortgage payment, maybe put new tires on the car, figure out how you’re going to save for your kids university… Trudeau hasn’t had to worry about making those kinds of payments. He’s always had money available to him.”
The crossing of asylum seekers over the border is also something Bergen said is causing concern. “I think people are concerned about illegal border crossers and about immigration being fair, being orderly, being compassionate,” she said.
Bergen said it’s difficult to discuss the issue rationally because of the response.
“When legitimate questions were asked, they immediately said you’re unCanadian, you’re intolerant, you’re racist,” she said. “When they do that, what actually happens is when people’s legitimate concerns are not addressed, that’s what breeds some of this intolerance.”
Bergen said they aren’t backing down on concerns people have and will continue to hold the government accountable.
“We love Canada, we love new Canadians,” she said. “The reason our immigration system has been successful up until this point is because it has been fair, it has been orderly, it has been a legal process where people can come to Canada legally.”
Bergen said it’s important to realize that people who are asking questions aren’t automatically racist.
“Some of the most compassionate people in our community, in churches, organizations who are sponsoring refugees, who are helping new Canadians get jobs and become used to living in Canada. Those are people who are also saying we don’t want individuals coming in illegally.”

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