In less than six months, I have found myself having to defend decisions and a nomination process that I have no control over. I will be the first one to say it hasn’t been easy.
During my recent interview with the Brandon Sun, I repeatedly made it clear that I prefer an open nomination race. I am prepared, as I have always been, to sign up new members as my team so successfully did in the fall of 2013 — selling more than 1,400 memberships.
Because of the Conservative party’s National Council’s decision to grandfather all the byelection winners since 2011 without having to face a second nomination, Brandon-Souris automatically falls under that category.
I want to be absolutely clear: I wasn’t consulted on this decision. I was only notified of it after a decision was made. As soon as I was notified, I immediately contacted Brandon-Souris’ local Conservative Electoral District Association president to make my position clear: I prefer to have an open nomination meeting. I also asked that this issue be brought up at the next meeting.
As I am sure you can all understand, it is important that any decision about a nomination race be made at arms’ length from the sitting member of Parliament. It is ultimately up to local Conservative members in Brandon-Souris who sit on the electoral district association board to decide what next steps should be taken in relation to the National Council’s decision.
Since being elected your MP, I have been open and accessible to the residents of Brandon-Souris. I have worked tirelessly on many different initiatives, assisted numerous constituents on case files and have brought the voice of southwestern Manitoba to Ottawa. These include securing funding for Career and Employment Youth Services in Brandon and helping resolve the possible ambulance shortage in local area rural municipalities.
As I have stated on numerous occasions, my office is open and accountable to you. I am here to serve the people of Brandon-Souris and to take your concerns to Ottawa.
LARRY N. MAGUIRE
Brandon-Souris Conservative MP