Who Liberal Stephen Fuhr sees as his toughest opponent in the upcoming election - InfoNews

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Who Liberal Stephen Fuhr sees as his toughest opponent in the upcoming election

Federal Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr joins his supporters following his election win in Kelowna-Lake Country, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.
March 25, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KELOWNA - Stephen Fuhr doesn’t care which Conservative woman wins the right to run against him in the next federal election.

It’s the man at the head of their party who he’s really running against.

“All roads lead to the same place, so, whether one wins or the other, to me it doesn’t really matter,” Fuhr, the sitting Liberal MP for Kelowna-Lake Country told iNFOnews.ca. “It leads to the type of government this community clearly rejected in 2015 and nothing has changed since then.”

Fuhr said he’s really not paying attention to the current battle over who wins the right to represent the Conservative party to the riding or over the latest squabble over legality or illegality of a proposed debate between the two candidates, Tracy Gray and Renee Wasylyk.

It all comes down to past Conservative policies under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and current party leader Andrew Scheer.

“All roads lead to Scheer,” Fuhr said. “At the end of the day, people are going to want to know, how are things better for them than they were and how are things going to be moving forward? That’s what really matters to them.”

Contrary to the heated battle for the Conservative nomination, Fuhr got in by acclamation when he first ran in 2015 and again this year.

What will be different, he predicts, is the amount of support he will get from the federal party.

When he ran in 2015, Kelowna-Lake Country was considered a safe Conservative riding and the Liberals were the third party nationally so they had limited resources for such races.

Times have changed.

"Every single government MP and Liberal MP in the country knows Kelowna-Lake Country because they were here in 2017,” Fuhr said, highlighting significant federal investments in water systems, flood control, the Rail Trail and Lake Country arts centre.

He expects the recent visit to the riding by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and the upcoming visit by Finance Minister Bill Morneau are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to support for his re-election.

What he doesn’t expect is any help from the local Green Party, which chose not to run a candidate in 2015 and threw its support behind Fuhr.

That was a contentious vote that split the party and not likely to be repeated, Fuhr said, noting many of the Greens he’s spoken with support him.

The other thing he sees as a plus for his re-election is the People’s Party of Canada that took almost 11 per cent of the vote in the recent Burnaby South byelection where NDP leader Jagmeet Singh won a seat in the House of Commons.

Running a candidate here will clearly take away Conservative, not Liberal, votes in Kelowna-Lake Country, Fuhr said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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