With a federal election campaign appearing to be imminent, Sault Ste. Marie Conservative candidate Sonny Spina has announced his readiness via social media.
Spina ran for Sault MP for the Conservatives in the 2019 federal election, placing second to Liberal incumbent MP Terry Sheehan.
Nevertheless, he wants a second crack at it.
“We’re not pushing for an election but we’re hearing very loudly that the Trudeau Liberals are looking to call an election very soon...we are ready and prepared to lead Canadians to move us forward and secure our future,” Spina said, speaking to SooToday.
“Canadians have other priorities on their minds... this is not the time to burden them with an election, but certainly if the Trudeau Liberals want to call it, we will be ready.”
Spina is critical of the government's handling of the pandemic.
“Justin Trudeau and his government have really fumbled through this pandemic and the cost has been too high for Canadians in terms of job losses, the mental health aspect (arising from COVID), human lives have been lost. We cannot afford to have the Trudeau Liberals calling the shots anymore," Spina said.
“Canadians should have been vaccinated sooner,” Spina said.
“They dragged their feet on vaccines...how many Canadians got sick or died between December and May? There’s no doubt in my mind we would’ve been further ahead had they gotten their act together and acted sooner.”
While a great deal of the government's deficit spending has been in the form of support for economically displaced Canadians during COVID, Spina questioned other forms of Liberal government spending.
“What we have seen from the Liberals, over and over again, is that they put a lot of emphasis on announcements and very little emphasis on any follow through. Announcements don’t create jobs. We have a plan to create jobs for our city, to engage with workers in our city, a plan to move forward and find jobs and create the environment where jobs will grow in this city. We have that plan.”
That plan, Spina said, includes:
- Supporting union and similar training programs, also aiming to bring women and new Canadians into the skilled trades
- Doubling the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for the next three years to help create more places for apprentices and increasing the amount that can be claimed from $2,000 per apprentice per year to $4,000 per apprentice per year
- Spending $250 million over two years to create the Canada Job Training Fund, providing grants to unions, employers, post-secondary institutions and community organizations for projects that give laid-off workers immediate access to training, reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups, helping tourism and hospitality workers who have been hit hard by the recession, supporting the talent needs of small businesses and focusing on areas where there are shortages of skilled workers
- Create the Working Canadian Training Loan to provide low interest loans of up to $10,000 to people who want to upgrade their skills
Spina said government spending has been “unfocused.”
“It’s really important to support Canadians during a health and economic crisis like this pandemic, but let’s not forget that a lot of the spending by the Trudeau Liberals has had nothing to do with the pandemic.”
As an example, Spina pointed to the awarding of a federal contract to the WE Charity to administer the $900 million Canada Student Summer Grant program, Canada’s Ethics Commissioner later finding the relationship between the government and the charity amounted to preferential treatment from former Finance Minister Bill Morneau, violating the Federal Conflict of Interest Act.
“We’re left footing the bill for this trillion dollar debt that our children are going to have to be servicing,” Spina said.
“I’m very concerned about future Canadians’ ability to service that debt. We have to have a country that will bring that back under control in a reasonable time frame, but still supply the help that Canadians need during a health crisis, such as this pandemic."
Spina, a former Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Constable, recently became Managing Director of NORPRO Security at N1 Solutions, and is known for his involvement in many local charitable causes.
That involvement includes serving as United Way Campaign chair, Algoma Family Services Foundation chair, a Sault North Rotary Club member, a Big Brothers volunteer and DU283 Duathlon creator, that event designed to help tourism and local youth.
Spina also credited Conservative leader Erin O’Toole as “an everyday Canadian,” O’Toole having served in the military, as a lawyer and a federal cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government.