ELECTION 2015: Harper makes promises during Penticton pit shop

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a campaign stop in Penticton, Sunday, Sept. 13.

PENTICTON - Stephen Harper’s campaign bus didn’t just stop at the door of Nor Mar Industries’ Brutus Truck Bodies shop — it drove right inside as Harper made a grand entrance to several hundred of the party faithful just after 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.

The event, which was quietly announced to members of the party over the past couple of days, and restricted to an 'invite only' list, took place under noticeable security at the Nor Mar facility on Okanagan Avenue East.

Penticton’s Conservtive candidate Marshall Neufeld introduced the Prime Minister and local Conservative candidates Dan Albas (Central Okanagan) and Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country.)

Harper hammered at the opposition’s plans to run deficits and spend, saying the economy is the number priority. He promised balanced budgets and lower taxes, saying every vote will matter.

“Now, more than ever before, we are taking this message to every corner of this proud country, from the suburbs, to the prairies, from our villages to our vibrant cities, from workers to small business owners, community organizations, co-workers — we will work day in, day out for the next 36 days to fight the calls for deficits and for higher taxes, to protect our jobs, protect our economy, and we will not give up our future,” he said to rousing applause.

Harper didn’t spend a lot of time discussing the refugee crises in the Middle East, but promised to 'continue to provide humanitarian aid and refugee assistance while continuing the fight against ISIS.' He offered a salute to the men and women currently serving in uniform in the Middle East, eliciting a standing ovation. Harper also offered continuing support to Israel and the Ukraine, which also drew applause.

For the most part, Harper stuck to a theme of non-interference, at one point saying taxpayers money 'belongs to you — not to bureaucrats or politicians.' He offered lower taxes, a balanced budget and more jobs, calling Canada 'the most admired, best country in the entire world.' 

At the entrance to Brutus Truck Bodies facility, a small group of protesters rallied during Harper’s visit, chanting such slogans as 'We don’t need your constitution,' and 'RCMP has no jurisdiction.'

“Harper needs to stop ruining our country. We don’t agree with his politics,” Shannon Rasmussen, one of the protesters, said.

Harper will be stopping in Kamloops Monday morning as well. No other stops have been announced for the Southern Interior.

Protesters were lined up at the entrance to Brutus Truck Bodies on Okanagan Avenue East following Harper's visit to Penticton this evening, Sunday, Sept.13.
Protesters were lined up at the entrance to Brutus Truck Bodies on Okanagan Avenue East following Harper's visit to Penticton this evening, Sunday, Sept.13.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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