Conservative candidate for Fort Langley-Aldergrove

Conservative candidate for Fort Langley-Aldergrove

B.C. economy top of mind for Manuel

Conservative candidate calls out both Liberals and NDP for skyrocketing provincial debt

Rick Manuel says his number one issue in the 2013 provincial election campaign is the economy.

Manuel, the candidate for the BC Conservative party in Fort Langley-Aldergrove, points out that both the BC Liberals and BC NDP doubled the public debt in their recent decades in power.

“The debt went from $17 billion to $34 billion under the NDP and the current debt is $66 billion under the Liberals. And Christy Clark has added another $13 billion to that for 2015,” said Manuel.

“Think of our kids: how are they going to pay that off?”

He says the Conservatives have committed to a balanced budget and what they call the spending smarter program.

“Presently there is not enough time spent discussing expenditures in the legislature,” said Manuel.

Manuel recently retired from a career in the public service, first as a paramedic and later as regional and provincial superintendent in the B.C. health care system. He and wife Victoria are living in Langley’s Salmon River area.

He says his career in health management gives him a unique insight into the province’s health care system.

“They all have avenues for savings and I would review those,” says Manuel. However, he adds, “ER waits are ridiculously long, and hospitals are understaffed.

“There aren’t enough nurses and doctors in the province. We need to do more in recruitment and retention.”

He also wants to, “up the spending in senior long term care, housing and home support.”

He notes that there has been “migration of workers in the last 10 years. They’re going to Alberta because there’s no jobs and it’s too expensive to live here.”

Manuel says party leader John Cummins is “pushing rural and northern development, road improvements, to make it more accessible and create more opportunities in mining.

“But the jury’s still out on LNG and I’m touchy on pipelines; we haven’t heard all the facts yet.”

On the local front, he’s concerned about the lack of public transportation.

“We need economical, efficient, fast transportation south of the Fraser. In the last 12 years nothing has happened. TransLink governance is not working; we need an elected board.”

The Conservatives have also pledged to phase out the B.C. Carbon Tax over four years, while increasing natural resource revenues.

A Conservative government would also take special interest money out of politics by banning corporate and union donations to political parties. This is another aspect of the BC Conservative commitment to allow MLAs to speak more freely, says Manuel.

“That’s what brought me to run for politics; it’s the only party that will allow members to vote for their constituents first, not the party.

“John Cummins was a maverick in Ottawa.

He believed we should be a conduit for the people and take their concerns to the legislature,” says Manuel.