Skip to content

Conservative leader returns to Delta with visit to Ocean Trailer

Company president Sid Keay hosted Poilievre for a campaign-style stop saying that the economy has dropped in the last year or so.
Federal Conservative leaders Pierre Poilievre chats with Ocean Trailer president Sid Keay during a campaign stop in Delta on May 14. Phil Melnychuk Photo

The economy has slowed down Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre heard Tuesday (May 14) at Ocean Trailer in Delta.

Company president Sid Keay hosted Poilievre for a campaign-style stop saying that the economy has dropped in the last year or so.

“Life has never been worse, than it is today,” Poilievre told the crowd of workers at the company that leases, sells and repairs highway truck trailers, recounting that Keay told him he’s never seen the economy so bad. “And it’s getting worse every single day.”

Keay said that it’s been slow for the last 15 months, as higher interest rates take effect, along with taxes, including the carbon tax.

“The economy, it’s in the tank,” he said.

For instance, previously, it would be hard to fill unskilled positions at the company. Now, if the company puts out a job notice, it gets 200 responses in a few hours.

Poilievre was back in Delta just a few weeks after visiting Silver City Galvanizing in early April, in support of recently named Conservative candidate Jessy Sahota.

At the Ocean Trailer visit, Poilievre repeated his promise to eliminate the carbon tax that he said would lower transportation costs while cutting spending and waste to reduce inflation, taxes and interest rates.

He added that Vancouver is the third-most expensive housing market in the world when housing prices are compared to incomes.

Delta Liberal MP Carla Qualtrough however, disagreed with Poilievre’s description when contacted by the Optimist for a follow-up interview.

“I think that Pierre Poilievre’s catastrophizing, and not giving Canadians and Canadian businesses enough credit,” she said.

People are struggling now but Canadians are resilient, and the economy is showing signs of coming back strong, whether it’s inflation slowing, unemployment steady and rising wages. But on the ground, it may not feel that way so that’s why government has launched assistance programs, she said.

During the visit, Keay also asked about the continued existence of open net fish farms on B.C.’s coast. He owns Duncanby Lodge in Rivers Inlet.

“If Mother Nature wanted Atlantic salmon in her Pacific Ocean, she would have put them there,” Keay said.

Poilievre though said that Conservative policy is a science-based policy that will protect habitat for Pacific salmon while ensuring that, “sustainable fish harvesting is allowed to succeed.

“We’ll be guided by science on that,” he said.

According to the B.C. Salmon Farmers, science over the last 30 years shows that farmed salmon and wild salmon can co-exist.

Qualtrough though said there’s broad consensus that open net fish farms have to go, pointing out that B.C. is the only place on the west coast of North America where they’re still allowed.

She said the commitment was to have the transition away from open net pens complete by 2025 but it also requires helping communities that are dependent on fish farms to adjust.

“This is happening. It’s just a matter of over the course of how long and will we meet the end of 2025 deadline,” Qualtrough said. “It’s going to happen.”

“There are very few issues that I’ve seen such broad consensus on,” she said.

Keay though said he’ll keep pressing the issue with Poilievre. “We need land-based aquaculture industry here,” Keay said. “Beyond a doubt. The science is there.

“And I don’t intend on letting him off the hook now. We’re optimistic that he’s listening, and we’ll make sure that the right thing happens

“It’s so incredibly important. To lose a species of fish - entire runs of fish – when we could have done something about it – it’s on us.”