The mayor of Meadow Lake will represent the Conservative Party in the riding of Desnethé - Missinippi - Churchill River for the 2019 federal election.
Gary Vidal won the nomination following a vote in the riding this past week.
Vidal, who was born and raised in Meadow Lake, was elected Mayor in September 2011 and is now serving in his third term. He said conversations still need to be had with city council on what will happen should he win the seat next year.
Speaking to meadowlakeNOW, Vidal called the new role “a great new opportunity” to potentially go to Ottawa, “have our voices heard and represent the people of this area.”
The riding is currently held by New Democrat Georgina Jolibois, but Vidal is confident the riding could turn blue in the next federal election for a number of reasons. Though sympathizing with Jolibois given the size of the riding, he believes his area has been underrepresented.
“We have not seen the presence around the riding,” he said.
Further, he said it is “difficult to represent interests in your individual riding from the opposition side of the House,” believing, “there is a good possibility we could form a Conservative majority” in 2019, and having a “Conservative member would be a huge asset to the electoral district.”
Vidal vocalized his frustration with the growing deficits and red ink on the books under the Liberals and appreciated the Conservatives position to introduce balanced budget legislation. Simplifying the tax code, introducing income splitting for families and broadening tax relief for individuals and businesses are top of mind for Vidal should he find himself in the House of Commons next fall.
“These are the job creators and the people who make things happen,” he said.
Vidal believes the family unit is essential to society, saying it is where “children learn values and develop a sense of responsibility.”
“I can relate to that because I have the strong belief that the family is the fundamental building block of our society,” he said.
With the Liberals set to introduce a nationwide carbon pricing scheme in 2019, Vidal maintained it is "going to be so detrimental to our region, to the entirety of Western Canada,” and echoed the position of Tory leader Andrew Sheer on the need to repeal the tax. He also sides with the party on getting pipelines built to move the nation's resources to market so their full potential can be realized.
“Good and responsible government is attentive to the people it represents and has representatives who at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner, display integrity, honesty and concern for the best interest of everyone,” he said, adding he believes the Conservative party leads in balancing fiscal accountability, with progressive social policy and individual rights.
Vidal has worked day to day since 1988 as an accountant and partner at Pliska Vidal & Co. He spent nearly a decade on the SaskWater board of directors, only recently resigning the role. He was elected vice-chair of the Saskatchewan City Mayors Caucus in 2016.
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 12:51 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2018 to correct a typo.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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