Member of parliament
Brian Fitzpatrick

FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I have invited all candidates in this federal election to take time and do a video clip so that you can hear and see them tell their story. Mr. Fitzpatrick had not noticed my e-mail invitation so when I discussed the idea with him at the Trojan breakfast Saturday morning he said he would like to think over what he would say and we agreed to put off the taping until after New Year's.

We sat down together to great plates of pancakes and sausage and I asked him about one of the issues that I considered very important in this riding. David Orchard had run for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party and stepped out of the race making way for Peter MacKay to win the contest with close to $80,000 of money he raised left over from his leadership campaign. The party had agreed to refund the money but Mr. MacKay in the meantime merged the party with the Reform/Alliance party and that party was refusing to refund Mr. Orchard's money which he owes for his campaign expenses. My question for Mr. Fitzpatrick was that since the Conservative party is accusing the Liberals of corruption, doesn't it look pretty bad to be involved in stealing money from a leadership candidate.

Mr. Fitzpatrick says its a "legal issue" and he said that the Conservative Party would refund the money provided Mr. Orchard signed an agreement that he would not proceed with a law suit over the breaking of the written agreement he had signed with Peter MacKay agreeing not to merge the Progressive Conservative Party with the Alliance. I pointed out to Mr. Fitzpatrick that that sounded to me like "blackmail" and he said that in his 24 years of practicing law such agreements were normal.

He explained that he saw this election as the major challenge to the Liberal Party's complete disregard to the appropriate operation of government and the former Auditor General, Sheila Fraser had stated in her report that all of the guidelines has been broken by the government in the sponsorship scandal in Quebec.

He said that the intense feelings that the Liberal government has produced in the province of Quebec has made national unity the major issue of this election. He did say that many Canadians in all parts of the country are weary of the continued harping of Quebec Separatists that this was making the confederation more an more difficult for many Canadians to accept. He said he was surprised at how many people have pointed out to him that at some point Canadians in general might very well demand a referendum to decide if the rest of want to continue to have Quebec as part of Canada.

I asked Mr. Fitzpatrick what he thought about the two debates that had occurred this past week and he said that he was pleased with the Friday night debate and felt that his leader, Mr. Harper had done a good job of stating the Conservative Party's positions on various issues.

With more than half of the campaign remaining we will have to see how things develop and I look forward to hearing Mr. Fitzpatrick do his video clip for this web site in early January.


Timothy W. Shire


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