-by Anne Finlay-Stewart

MP Larry Miller spoke with The Hub on November 5 at the end of a long day in Ottawa, and on his way to the airport to attend the ground-breaking for the Marine Training facility at Georgian College.
The Conservative caucus had gathered along with those who were not re-elected to hear Stephen Harper's farewell as leader and to meet their thirty-some new colleagues. This was followed by a vote by MPs and senators to choose the party's interim leader -Rona Ambrose.

Miller says the party is in good hands. He and Ambrose were first elected together in 2004, and since then she has held eight posts in cabinet and its committees. Miller calls her "experienced and capable" and says she will bring the right persona to the job. "Rightly or wrongly, we were perceived to be confrontational", Miller said, but Ambrose will address that with the right balance. She has said she will be reaching out to get everyone's input, and Miller is looking forward to her call. "I have never been afraid to say what's on my mind."

When it comes to choosing a permanent new leader for the party, Miller says no time-line has been set. The Conservative Party of Canada has struck a committee to determine the process, and Miller thinks they will take the time to do it right. "We need to learn from the Liberals' experience. They were quick to select Dion and Ignatieff and we know how that turned out. But this last time they had a competent interim leader – Bob Rae – and took their time in selecting a permanent leader. And that has proven to be very positive for them."

We should not take for granted that the next leader of the Conservative party will be chosen from among the ninety-nine MPs who were elected on October 19, Miller says. "There are many potential prospects out there – Brad Wall, just as an example, the Premier of Saskatchewan and perhaps the most popular Premier in Canada." While Wall is facing a provincial election next spring, a longer time-line for selecting a leader might put him or any number of other provincial members, former MPs or private sector individuals in the mix.

Miller has a couple of ideas for private members' bills, but it is too soon to talk about those. He intends to request a meeting with the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, concerning the Owen Sound harbour, although he has stated that the city has to be clear in its intentions about the harbour before it can expect federal investment.

Constituents should expect the same level of service from Miller's office as he and his staff have been delivering over the past 11 years, and no change to the commitments he made during the election campaign. It is his task now he says, as a member of the official opposition, to "hold the government's feet to the fire". A recent open letter to the media confirmed Miller's position on the government's plans concerning Syrian refugees,  and what he believes is driving the current crisis.


CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators