Green, smart Canada seen by riding's new Liberal candidate Brian Fillmore
Brian Fillmore, named Nanaimo-Cowichan’s Liberal party candidate Friday, sees knowledge-based, green industries as Canada’s future.
The guy who recently came second in Nanaimo council’s byelection is now aiming for Parliament, ideally run by a Liberal majority that thinks green.
But Fillmore, 43, said he’d settle for a Liberal minority, under leader Michael Ignatieff, that could work closely with Jack Layton’s NDP.
“I don’t believe philosophies between Liberals and the NDP are that far apart,” the native Nova Scotian said.
“Liberals and the NDP could work together toward a fantastic future in this country.”
But first, Fillmore faces the riding’s poplar NDP MP Jean Crowder who’s running for her third term in Ottawa.
“Jean’s done a great job but it would be good for our riding having a member of the elected (official) government.”
Fillmore most fears a majority government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, after the May 2 vote.
“Harper’s become a dictator, he’s so controlling,” said Fillmore, a salesman with ABC Precast and Ready Mix Ltd.
“People aren’t happy with Canada’s standing in the world.”
Fillmore also faulted mudslinging in election advertising.
“All the negative campaigning is horrible,” he said, painting a different picture of his party’s leader.
“People’s only view of Ignatieff has been molded by the Conservatives,” said the Mount Allison University political-science and history graduate.
“Can we fault someone who’s lived other places in the world? Ignatieff has a great education and he’s brilliant man.”
Fillmore supported Liberal ideas of spending taxpayer dough on green technology, families and schools — not fighter jets and more jails, as promised by the Conservatives.
“At election time, people bang the green drum then it gets forgotten,” he said, touting Canadian environmental solutions as economic engines.
He slapped Harper’s budgets he claimed boosted the national debt.
“In the few years since Harper took over, our national debt is at the highest level, matching 1996 levels.”
But Fillmore ducked the last decade’s fracas that saw Jean Cretien’s Liberals gain public funding through about $200 million in contracts granted to Quebec ad firms.
“I don’t have all the details. I can’t think of a time in our history when some things didn’t go bad.”
Meanwhile, Fillmore supported reducing or forgiving Canadian student- loan debt, and making university and college tuition free.
“Imagine if Canada decided to provide free post-secondary education, and focus research on green technology for tomorrow.”
He backed affordable day-care to put “more productive people back into the economy so they can buy things that move our economy forward.”
Banning tax breaks for oil sands firms, and oil tankers from B.C.’s coast, plus legislating preservation of water as a public resource while outlawing bulk water sales also topped Fillmore’s list.