Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer and John Hirst.
Life has been good for John Hirst and his family, and he wants to repay that debt of gratitude to his community.
“It may sound trite, but our family was raised here and we will raise the next generation of our family here. Nanaimo-Ladysmith
is a great place to live, but it’s not all it could be,” says Hirst.
Prior to the 2015 federal election, the Conservative government pledged $15 million to help launch a foot-passenger ferry service in Nanaimo. The Liberal government that
followed has introduced record deficits to pay for infrastructure, but nothing for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, says Hirst.
“That really reinforces the fact that we need a representative where decisions are made rather than in a back-bench minority
party which has no direct influence,” he says.
He stresses the importance of having someone who is independent and not beholden to foreign special interest groups that fund job-killing agendas. The Rockefellers and the Tides Foundation should
have no influence in our political parties. We’ve had a member of a minority party in Parliament for years, and what has the delivered for Nanaimo? Hirst asks.
Nanaimo needs to move forward, he says. While other parties all seem to believe
that big government can solve all our problems, it is individual effort through free enterprise that leads to success.
“For instance, everyone wants to see housing that everyone can afford, but our problem right now isn’t money as much as
contractors working at capacity. They have to deal with a labour shortage and massive government red tape that lead to inflated prices.
“In Nanaimo we have a $32,352-a-year median pre-tax income, that’s not an income you can raise families
on and buy houses,” he says.
Hirst would be a fierce fighter for federal funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Our area has been left behind, and we need a seat at the table in Ottawa, he says.
“Conservatives are the party of freedom.
Freedom from big government that tells us what to do or believe and how to lives our lives. Conservatives are for free enterprise and free trade, that bring prosperity to our country.
“We should be able to live with freedom from fear, and
that we have the right to safe, peaceful lives protected by our laws and law enforcement. And we believe in free speech – divisive and identity-based politics and have no place in the Conservative party.”
He finds the federal government’s
intrusive search into private bank accounts particularly concerning, especially with his work in the financial services sector.
“It will take hard work and a strong voice in Ottawa to help Nanaimo-Ladysmith reach its full potential, and I can
be that voice,” he says.
He likes to quote former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s summation of conservatism: “Stay off my back, and get out of my wallet.”