St. John’s South – Mount Pearl Conservative says his leader, and party, wants to make the country a better place
By Mark Squibb | Vol 7 No. 19 (Sept. 26, 2019)
Terry Martin of Southlands said that after mulling over the idea of a candidacy in the federal election, the passing of Bill C-69 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Bill C-69, the “Impact Assessment Act.” would impose stricter environmental measures on Canada’s resource sector.
Critics, touting the bill as a pipeline killer amongst other things, argue it would discourage new investments and developments in natural resources, while wrapping current projects in layers of bureaucratic red tape.
Proponents of the bill argue in favor of the stronger environmental laws.
“Bill C-69 will be something that shuts down our entire economy for all intents and purposes,” said Martin.
He recalled the damage done to the private sector, and the economy as a whole, during the dark days of the cod moratorium.
“Bill C-69 is basically a moratorium on oil,” Martin argued. “And if we allow Ottawa to make all those decisions which they were doing with our fisheries, I think that, as our economy here is based on resources, we have to be very concerned.”
Other things that Martin said influenced his decision to run, Martin said, included Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin scandal, the subsequent dismissal of cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott for standing up to Trudeau, and the signing of a renewed Atlantic Accord deal in April.
Martin moved from Grand Falls-Windsor 25 years ago so that his daughter Hillary, could attend the School for the Deaf in St. Johns. Shortly after, he began his work with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-Newfoundland and Labrador (CHHA-NL) where he currently works as Director of Fund Development.
As director, Martin said, he has plenty experience dealing with all three levels of government, as well as advocating for and helping others.
“My strength definitely lies with my ability to communicate with people, and to organize, and to align people with things or government agencies or other organizations that can help them,” he said.
Martin views stepping forward as the Conservative Party’s Mount Pearl— Southlands candidate as a way to help his community, and country as a whole.
“I decided I could do something about it, or not. So, I decided to step forward,” he said.
He told The Pearl the Conservative Party best aligned with his core values.
“We’re a compassionate party, we are a party of the people,” said |Martin. “We know that you have to be fiscally responsible and socially progressive. That combination will always be needed in government. Of all of the parties that I could have chosen, this one here more aligns with my values.”
While knocking the doors and pounding the pavement, Martin said the biggest concern he is hearing is the cost of living.
“That comes up at almost every door,” he said. “The cost of living of course ties back to the economy, and of course you can relate that to Bill C-69. Cost of living goes back to two issues; taxation, and the health of your economy.”
He said Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have a number of tactics in their arsenal to battle the increased cost of living.
“First and foremost, we have to repeal Bill C-69,” Martin said. “We have the Universal Tax Credit, cutting HST on home heating, and tax-free maternity benefits. Being a businessman and working in the non-profit sector, I can tell you the best way to make money is to save it. If we can help you save it, you’ll get ahead. And if everyone gets ahead, we as a nation get ahead.”
And while Martin has knocked on countless doors while campaigning, there’s one he says that stands out.
“This gentleman poked his head around the door and he gestured that he couldn’t hear. So immediately I started signing to him, and we engaged in a great conversation. He said that many people have knocked on his door, and he’s been unable to talk to them,” said Martin. “He said it was his first time he was able to talk to someone seeking to become a Member of Parliament, or any other level of government, and that he could share his concerns. And his was cost of living. It was a very emotional time for me, and for him. It was just a beautiful thing.”
Martin said that he is always hearing a lot about Trudeau at the doors, noting many people are telling him they have lost confidence in the Liberal leader.
“If your leader has lost the trust of the people, that filters down and does a lot of damage,” said Martin. “The next generation are learning about this. And they’re losing confidence in their leadership. And that’s a very damaging thing. And that there is where SNC-Lavalin comes in.”
Meanwhile, Martin has high praise of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
“He’s a very compassionate person, he’s hardworking, he has common sense, he’s willing to listen,” Martin argued. “He is so, so focused on making Canada, and the world, a better place. He wants to leave this place better than he found it. And we think that we have a way of doing so. It’s not going to happen overnight, we know that. He’s a great leader because he listens. He has no ego. He hasn’t built his career on selfies and soundbites.”
The Conservatives last held a seat in the riding from 2004- 2008, when Loyola Hearn served as MP. Since then, both Liberals and the NDP members have held the seat, with the Liberal Siobhán Coady occupying it from 2008 to 2011 and Liberal incumbent Seamus O’ Regan holding the seat from 2015 to present. Ryan Cleary held the seat as an NDP member 2011 to 2015.
The federal election is scheduled for Oct. 21.