For eight consecutive elections the Regina-Wascana riding has been known as a Liberal stronghold, but this time it appears the Conservatives have extra support and are making a concerted effort to gain the seat.
It’s the second time Michael Kram is running against Ralph Goodale after losing to the Liberal candidate by just more than 10,000 votes in 2015.
Of course, there’s a full slate of candidates, but this time experts are predicting a much closer race as Goodale faces criticism over his party’s carbon tax, along with a billboard campaign by third party group WestWatch.
The billboards popped up around Regina in the spring saying, “Send Trudeau a message, vote Ralph Goodale out.”
Goodale is hoping for a ninth consecutive win and this go-around has focused on key industries including steel and agriculture.
At the beginning of October, Goodale cast doubt on the continuation of $40 million going to Evraz, if a Conservative government is elected.
Funding that the federal government has already committed to and is designed to help upgrade facilities at the Regina and Red Deer Alta. steel mills.
“That company puts 1,100 jobs in Regina. The investment of $40 million is intended to preserve and protect those jobs. You take away the $40 million and those jobs go in jeopardy,” Goodale said.
Goodale also added, a re-elected Liberal government will add $5 billion to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) national headquarters which is located in Regina, in order to create more jobs and expand the scope of the organization.
Kram is hoping to turn the Regina-Wascana riding blue, saying earlier this month the number one thing he’s heard on the doorsteps is the need to get pipelines built.
“In any given year, between 10 and 15 per cent of the provincial government’s budget comes from natural resource royalties, so we need to get these pipelines built so there will be money in the provincial government’s coffers,” Kram said.
The Liberals have also pledged to build the Trans Mountain Pipeline project.
Another thing they both agree on, is the Liberals and Conservatives plan to upgrade the RCMP Heritage Centre, giving it national museum status.
However, the Conservative candidate also said people in the riding are concerned about getting the federal budget back to balance, pointing to the Conservative’s plan to get back to a balanced budget in five years.