Blake Richards, the member of Parliament for the Conservative Party and the incumbent the Banff-Airdrie riding, submitted his nomination to run in the upcoming federal election on Sept. 20.
The House of Commons veteran officially filed his nomination papers at the local Elections Canada office on Aug. 18, and has since been carving out his campaign trail. Richards said the Conservative Party’s main focus heading into next month’s vote will be Canada’s post-pandemic future.
“This election is really about choosing a path forward to recovery and I’m proud of the plan that we put forward as the Conservative Party to secure the future with what we call Canada’s Recovery Plan,” he said, adding the pandemic has had a major effect on the economy and Canadians’ well-being.
According to Richards, the party’s recovery plan will focus on getting Canadians back to work, developing a mental health action plan, and balancing the budget in order to get the government’s fiscal house in order.
Other focuses will also be placed on issues such as funding for child care, helping Canadians who are taking care of a parent through the Canadian Seniors Care benefit program, affordability, and housing.
He added the Conservative Party also hopes to secure the future by bringing about stronger accountability laws for politicians and governments.
“There’s a lot of people that are suffering and they’re looking for some hope,” he said. “I want to see that people have an opportunity to get back to work and get back on their feet and have life be a little more affordable.”
Richards said he will also be an advocate for Alberta’s oil and gas sector, which he added is an industry many Albertans rely on to make a living.
“We’ve had a huge downturn with our oil and gas and a lot of that was caused by our federal government,” he said. “Frankly, I want to see those jobs and the importance that they [hold] to our economy and environment respected and valued.”
Richards is a four-term MP, having held office for the Conservative Party since 2008 in the ridings of Wild Rose and Banff-Airdrie. The Sept. 20 vote marks his fifth time running in a federal election, and he said he knows what it takes to be an advocate and a voice for constituents at the federal level.
In addition to representing his riding, Richards was most recently the Chief Opposition Whip for the Conservative Party and the shadow cabinet minister for democratic institutions. He’s also been the shadow cabinet minister for small business and exports, and served on the House of Commons’ finance committee.
“I’ve always been a strong champion for our community, for our province,” he said. “People know me, they know that I’ll stand up and I’ll fight and they know that I’ve got the community’s best interest at heart.
“I’m prepared to continue to give 110 per cent of everything I have to make sure this community is represented in parliament."
Richards is one of six candidates who have filed their nominations to run in Banff-Airdrie in the upcoming election. The field includes Liberal Party candidate David Gamble, Maverick Party candidate Tariq Elnaga, People’s Party of Canada candidate Nadine Wellwood, Independent Derek Sloan and Green Party candidate Austin Blum.
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