Duncan trumpets lightkeeper retention, stands ground on Point Race replacement

Incumbent MP and Conservative candidate John Duncan reflected on his legacy during the opening of his Campbell River campaign office on Friday

Incumbent MP and Conservative candidate John Duncan reflected on his legacy during the opening of his Campbell River campaign office on Friday.

“I think back to 1993 when I was first elected,” Duncan said. “The party I represented – the Reform Party – said we needed a place at the table. The West was not properly represented.

“I am actually very proud of that heritage.”

From there, Duncan and the party (after merging with the Progressive Conservatives) has evolved from third party status, to opposition, to forming the government.

“That legacy, that history is unique in Canada,” Duncan said.

“I have been part of all of this…we have gone from basically a strong voice in Ottawa to a region and a province in Canada that’s at the centre of new ideas.”

Being in government has changed things for Duncan, providing him with more resources to enact change.

“In opposition, I often felt like a one-armed paper hanger,” Duncan said. “Now I have people who can do things.”

Duncan cited the lighthouse destaffing issue that first arose in 1990 as an example.

“It was  a really political battle,” he said.

They thought they had it won but it came back.

“This time the light station issue became one that was resolved through collaboration with my peers who are obviously more in the government and in cabinet.”

Previous governments did not consult with British Columbia, Duncan added.

“We’re now very much taken seriously and our needs are very much being heard,” he said.

On another coastal issue that the government stood fast on – replacing the Coast Guard Cutter Point Race with a smaller K Class vesssel that has been criticized by mariners on the West Coast, Duncan was convinced that the government’s position was the right one.

“That boat has served very, very well,” Duncan said.

It was first slated for replacement in 1998 and Duncan was involved in the fight to retain it.

“It’s now 13 years later, the boat is almost 30 years old,” Duncan said.

In that time there has been criticism from the auditor general concerned about the Coast Guard’s aging fleet and  a lack of investement in it.

The Point Race replacement is part of a revitalization plan that is to include standardization of the fleet.

“The world was searched for an appropriate model,” Duncan said. “The K Class 47-footer was viewed as the boat that could address all of the needs.

“I also recognize that this is a very emotional issue for people,” he added. “I do believe that the K Class is the right vessel.

Just Posted

Where do Campbell River council candidates stand on municipal tax increases?

Differing views on how too keep taxes down – or whether that is even possible

Campbell River candidates shovel their way through snow removal question

How do the candidates feel about the city’s current snow removal policies and what would they change?

Confusion in Campbell River on first day of cannabis legalization

Some users puzzled as dispensaries close just before pot becomes legal across Canada

Aquaman star spotted around Campbell River as production ramps up on See

Jason Momoa, best known for his role in Game of Thrones, is in town to film television series

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Openly gay, female priest of B.C. church defying norms

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Nova Scotia works to stop underage online cannabis sales

The government cannabis retailer moves to prevent workaround of online-age verification

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ B.C. youth advocate says

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

Carr, Morneau off to China next month to deepen commerce

Carr says Canada and China aren’t embarking on formal free trade talks

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store

On the first day cannabis was legal a young entrepreneur capitalized on cookie sales

Tougher laws introduced against bestiality, animal fighting

The Liberal government is proposing to strengthen the laws today

Money Monitor: Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

BMO’s Omar Abouzaher outlines the pros and cons of both types of mortgages

Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road

Most Read