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Author Topic: Emerson will run in next federal election  (Read 1157 times)

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Emerson will run in next federal election
« on: Feb 28 06 04:54 »
[DIV id=headline][H2]Emerson will run in next federal election[/H2][H3 id=deck]Tory MP intends to [/H3][/DIV][DIV id=author][P class=byline]STEVE MERTL

[P class=source]Canadian Press

[UL class=columnistInfo][/UL][/DIV][DIV id=article style="FONT-SIZE: 100%"][!-- dateline --]Vancouver[!-- /dateline --] Trade Minister David Emerson says he will run again in Vancouver-Kingsway in the next federal election despite the continuing uproar over his defection to the new Conservative government just days after leading the Liberals' B.C. campaign attack on the Tories.

"I do plan to run as a Conservative in the next election," Mr. Emerson said Tuesday in an interview.

Mr. Emerson won his east Vancouver riding as a Liberal in the Jan. 23 election, winning by a solid majority over veteran New Democrat Ian Waddell. The Conservative candidate was a distant third.

[DIV class="bigbox ad" id=boxR][SCRIPT type=text/XXXXscript ads="1"]aPs="boxR";[/SCRIPT][SCRIPT type=text/XXXXscript]var boxRAC = fnTdo('a'+'ai',300,250,ai,'j',nc);[/SCRIPT][/DIV]Mr. Emerson said he has not contemplated shifting out of Vancouver-Kingsway, which has not elected a Conservative since 1958.

"I'm certainly focusing on Vancouver-Kingsway's needs as I carry on my duty as an MP," he said.

Mr. Emerson, industry minister in Paul Martin's Liberal government, has been the focus of demonstrations in his riding by people demanding he face a byelection over his decision to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative cabinet.

But he said he hopes hard work on B.C. issues such as softwood lumber, the Olympics and the Pacific Gateway trade initiative will win over the dissenters.

"I'm driving those issues hard and I strongly believe that people will look at the specifics of my job and my performance in the next election," he said.

Mr. Emerson, former CEO of forest giant Canfor Corp., and once a senior B.C. government bureaucrat, was initially flummoxed by the backlash his floor-crossing spawned.

A reluctant recruit to partisan politics, Mr. Emerson contemplated quitting but said he now believes he was right to jump. He's the only Tory MP in Vancouver's urban core.

"I can't tell you how many people are coming through the doors and the windows with issues that they felt a little stranded by and not knowing what to do with," he said.

"I strongly feel I made the correct decision, that I can serve my constituents and my community better in doing what I'm doing now and I feel very good about that."

[P class=body]Mr. Emerson now is back in Ottawa after being hunkered down in Vancouver where he was being briefed by senior trade officials on his new portfolio as the storm broke over his head.

[P class=body]"I have not been distracted from my job," he said in the telephone interview.

[P class=body]"I believe very, very strongly that the prime minister made a bold and, I think, a good decision to bring someone in to the cabinet from Vancouver."

[P class=body]Mr. Emerson said he is starting to get a handle on his department's priorities.

[P class=body]"Canada generally has to put the Canada-U.S. relationship right at the top of the list in terms of issues that are critically important for our economic future," he said.

[P class=body]"In that context, you cannot escape softwood lumber because it has, to a real degree, defined the relationship over the last few years and it's not been a very positive definition."

[P class=body]Mr. Emerson did not offer any clues about how the Conservative government's strategy on the long standing trade dispute would differ from its Liberal predecessor's approach legal challenges to punitive American lumber duties combined with the prospect of a negotiated settlement.

[P class=body]"I think what will be critically important is for the tone to be set at the top," he said.

[P class=body]"The prime minister has been very clear that we want a deal but not at any cost, and that's going to mean the president is going to have to indicate that he has as strong a desire as we have to bring this to constructive resolution."

[P class=body]Mr. Harper is scheduled to meet Mr. Bush, along with Mexican President Vicente Fox, at a NAFTA summit in Cancun at the end of March.

[P class=body]Mr. Harper has said he favours reviving the idea of appointing top-level envoys to lead the way to a settlement.

[P class=body]"I think any potential mechanism like that is worth considering," said Mr. Emerson, but stressed envoys must have political weight behind them.

[SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"]"An envoy is only going to be as good as the empowerment and the tools that that person is given."[/SPAN]

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[SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"][/SPAN]

[SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"]Thats great but if you really want to run why don't you call a by-election. Oh I forgot you would get killed in a by-election.[/SPAN]

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"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

 

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