Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mayes says he wants to keep his MP job ... i don't think so ...

Mayes hints at budget bucks
Scott Neufeld March 15, 2007

He won’t reveal the details but Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes said that constituents will be pleased at what’s in the federal government’s budget.

“I know there are some things on there but I can’t be specific,” he said. “We’re not going to be missed.”

The budget will be unveiled on Monday and Mayes hinted the North Okanagan and Shuswap would benefit specifically from federal funds. He said he couldn’t say if the money would be for local highways or some of the other areas where residents have been seeking federal funding.

In advance of the budget Mayes has kept busy holding town hall meetings in communities throughout the riding. He said it has been his first opportunity since winning his seat last January that he’s been able to tour the riding.

“I intended to have town hall meetings in the summer but I got sidetracked with the nomination meeting,” Mayes said. “I made a pledge that I will have a town hall meeting at least once a year.”

Mayes said he’s been encouraged by the public participation at the town hall meetings. He said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“People are quite positive about what the government is doing,” he said. “A lot of people say, ‘I didn’t know you were doing that, you should let more people know.’”

The Conservatives’ tough stance on crime has drawn the most positive feedback, Mayes said. Many people also approved of the government’s environmental platform while others wanted a childcare allowance given to parents, rather than see the money go to the province.

For the rest of this week Mayes will be in Toronto for what he said would be one of the largest political conventions in Canadian history. While there, he and other local party members would be trained with dozens of other Conservatives on how to run a riding association, how to be a finance manager and more. It may appear as if the Tories are preparing for an election but Mayes said the government won’t force one. He said he would rather delay an election to gain more on the job experience.

“Personally I would like to see it in another year,” he said. “I want to show the folks in this constituency what I can do.”