PM arrives in Ladner swinging

Stephen Harper takes repeated shots at his opponents during campaign stop last week at Greystone Stables

Prime Minister Stephen Harper took plenty of shots at his opposition during a campaign stop in Ladner last Thursday.

Harper spoke to about 250 supporters at a rally at Greystone Stables where he highlighted the Conservative government's fiscal performance, while warning the crowd the Liberals and New Democrats don't have new ideas and risk sending the nation backward.

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Noting his government's tax breaks and incentives, he said NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau can't be trusted.

Among other topics covered by the prime minister at the campaign stop was the heartbreaking photograph seen around the world of the young Syrian boy who drowned last Wednesday while among a group of refugees fleeing the war. Harper noted the Conservatives had already pledged greater refugee assistance.

Also pointing out the attack last fall by the lone gunman at Parliament Hill, Harper warned a Liberal or NDP government could not be counted on to address the terrorist threat.

The prime minister also touched on his commitment to invest in the country's infrastructure.

"The Evergreen Line, the South Fraser Perimeter Road, Delta causeway and 80th Street overpass, the Deltaport Way truck staging area, the refurbishment of the Boundary Bay border crossing, improvements to Ladner and

Steveston harbours - I could go on," Harper said of local projects funded by the Conservative government. "We put this across this country and what do we get? We have the longest, largest, most ambitious national investments ever undertaken by a federal government in the history of this country."

Harper, who received several boisterous chants of "four more years" from the converted, was also highly complimentary of Delta incumbent Kerry-Lynne Findlay, who was at the rally, noting the minister of national revenue was this year's recipient of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Golden Scissors Award. The award recognizes elected officials or others in government who have shown leadership in freeing entrepreneurs from the burden of red tape.

Findlay said under the Conservatives the country has weathered tough economic times and seen growth for seven straight years.

"We need his proven leadership to keep going in the right direction," she said.

Delta NDP candidate Jeremy Leveque said Harper's event failed to speak to Conservative scandals or the party's economic policies.

"I have spoken to hundreds of people throughout Delta over the last few weeks and it has become obvious that people here are ready for change," he said. "They're tired of Conservative corruption, scandal and cronyism."

Green Party candidate Anthony Devellano also called out Harper's economic policies.

"What he should be explaining is why Canada is experiencing its second recession on his watch," Devellano said.

"If Mrs. Findlay were to quit the Conservative Party and run as an independent in Delta, I'd be tempted to vote for her myself," Devellano said. "But as a Conservative Party operative all she can ever be is Stephen Harper's local apologist. Delta deserves actual local representation that doesn't take marching orders from Ottawa."

Liberal candidate Carla Qualtrough did not respond to messages by Optimist deadline.

The election will be held Oct. 19.

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