The Conservative Party has named Megan Veck as its candidate in New Westminster-Burnaby for this fall’s federal election.
Veck, a former communications manager, says she got interested in politics since working as a legislative assistant, most recently for Conservative Mark Warawa, the Langley-Aldergrove member of Parliament who died of cancer in June.
“It just instilled a real love for public policy, for our democracy, for the way things are run,” Veck said.
She added that she wanted to run for the Conservative Party based on her belief in personal responsibility and small government.
“Obviously we need an element of government intervention and regulation in order to function as a society, but I think the best decisions are made at a grassroots level and made by individuals,” she said.
“I think we’ve consistently seen over the past couple years that [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau talks a good game, but he’s not as advertised, and his policies are not as advertised.”
Veck said she’s “remarkably proud” of the Conservative platform that has come out so far, citing, among other things, a recent announcement that the party would increase federal health-care transfers to provinces.
“We’ve got a great environment plan … and I think we’ve really changed our tone since 2015, and I’m really proud to be walking into the 2019 election under the Conservative banner,” she said.
She pushed back against criticism from some commentators that the Conservative environment plan would be less effective than other parties’ plans, saying it is “Canada’s best chance at meeting our Paris [Accord] target” of reducing emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels.
Asked what her top issues are, Veck cited the environment, along with the cost of living in the Lower Mainland.
“I was talking to a family the other day, and they’ve been living in New West for about 30 years, but their kids moved to Chilliwack because they couldn’t afford to stay here,” Veck said.
NDP MP Peter Julian has held New West-Burnaby and its predecessor, Burnaby-New West, since 2004, claiming more than 40 per cent of the vote in the last three elections.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party lost its grip on the second spot in 2015, dropping from around 35 per cent to under 20 per cent. But Veck says she feels she can break the NDP’s spell on the riding.
“We’re picking up momentum here. … I genuinely think that we’re going to see this riding turn Conservative,” Veck said.
She said she “can see why people like” Julian, but she added that he is more likely to represent his constituents from an opposition party.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the Liberals or the Conservatives are going to be the governing party, and I think it makes sense for our community to want a voice that’s going to be part of the governing party.”