Continuing my roundup of gay and lesbian MPs at the end of this Parliament, I caught up with Liberal Rob Oliphant after question period on Wednesday.
Q: Are you ready to go?
A: Personally, emotionally, psychologically? Absolutely ready. This election is overdue – this is not an unwarranted election, this is an overdue election. Knowing that for some time, I’m personally ready and my campaign team is ready. My money is all raised.
Q: What about unfinished business you had from this Parliament?
A: I have a couple of private member’s bills that will die; probably one of the key ones is the independent and effective Veterans Ombudsman [bill]. When we’re in government, I will work for that to happen. Pension accountability is less urgent because some other pension issues have trumped that in the two years since I proposed it. But massive pension reform is required, so I think that’s almost at the level of a major study that Canada needs to engage in, in the understanding of income security for retired people. I had a motion for Vietnam human rights at the subcommittee on international human rights – I will bring that back. And I’ve just presented a motion on the live-in caregiver program to review it since changes were made a year ago.
Q: What’s your read on your competition?
A: I think that the Conservative has been working. It’s his second time that I’ll defeat him. I think it’s his third time running. His best chance was last time, frankly – I was a new candidate, we had a leader that did not catch on fire, we had a campaign that wasn’t very well organized nationally, and we had a message that was tough to sell with the green shift. This time we have a leader that’s prepped and ready and is excited and proved himself in the summer, that he can actually do a campaign well. We have a message on families, on national day care, on pensions, on post-secondary education that will sell in my riding, and we’re ready to go. It’s a two-way fight. The NDP candidate and the Green candidate aren’t in the race.