Strahl makes election campaign stops in North
Cabinet minister Chuck Strahl swung through the Yukon and Northwest Territories this week to back Conservative candidates running in the Oct. 14 federal election.
In Whitehorse on Thursday, the Indian and Northern Affairs minister underlined the importance of having a local member of Parliament from the governing party — which the Tories hope will be their candidate, Darrell Pasloski.
Strahl pointed to his party's recent promises to create a development agency for Canada's North, as well as change the rules for natural resource development there.
"It's important, from our point of view, to have as many members of Parliament from the North as we can because, of course, as those decisions are made they're filtered through the local member of Parliament," Strahl said.
Pasloski, a Whitehorse pharmacist, said he has spent much of his campaign talking to Yukoners about what's important to them.
"They like the lower taxes, less GST," he said, adding that voters he spoke to also preferred lower personal and corporate taxes.
"People like that we're paying the debt down, that mortgage that all of us own in this country."
Vandals damage campaign signs
But it hasn't been an entirely smooth campaign for Pasloski: a number of Conservative party signs around Whitehorse were found damaged Wednesday.
Some were turned over, or had holes punched through them. Signs showing Pasloski with Prime Minister Stephen Harper had duct tape covering Pasloski's mouth.
Signs supporting Liberal incumbent MP Larry Bagnell have also been knocked over.
"I think it's unfortunate. I mean, it's a democratic system. We're in the middle of an election," Warren Holland, a member of Pasloski's campaign team, told CBC News on Wednesday.
"If people are unhappy with a particular candidate's position they can cast a ballot. That's the way the system works. It seems kind of childish and petty to approach things this way."
Elections Canada officials point out that vandalizing election campaign signs is illegal, and punishable by a $1,000 fine, three months in jail, or both.
Harper 'loves the North,' Strahl says
Strahl was in Yellowknife late Tuesday to lend his support to Western Arctic candidate Brendan Bell.
There, Strahl noted that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's frequent visits to northern Canada — including, most recently, a stop Saturday in Iqaluit — as evidence of the region's importance to the prime minister.
"He loves the North. He's got a passion for it, and that passion's been transferred to the government, to the cabinet, and to our party in a way that I've never seen," he told campaign staff and supporters on Tuesday.