Election 2015: Harper holds largest campaign rally yet at Abby manufacturer

Abbotsford: Invitation-only event draws 850 Conservative supporters

Stephen Harper speaks to supporters at a large campaign rally in Abbotsford.

Laura Rodgers

More than 850 Conservative supporters showed up to the prime minister’s invitation-only appearance at the Dynamic Windows and Doors factory in west Abbotsford’s warehouse on the evening of Sept. 2 the party’s largest rally on the campaign trail so far.

The venue was a fit for a Stephen Harper rally, as it reflected many of the major issues used to frame the Conservative campaign: value-added manufacturing, sustainable economic growth, and aid to refugees.

Harper gave a long speech focusing on his party’s plans for the economy and Canada’s military involvement abroad. Dynamic Windows and Doors received a federal grant of $900,000 this July to build and market ultra-energy-efficient windows, modeled on a design developed in Germany. At the event, Abbotsford MP Ed Fast highlighted how the company’s products add value to Canadian lumber while promoting environmental sustainability exemplifying the sort of business he’d like to see grow Canada’s economy. The company also employs nearly 100 refugees from Iraq and Syria, which gave a jumping-off point to discuss refugee policy and Canada’s involvement abroad against ISIL.

“On October 19, Canadians will make a choice,” said the Conservative leader. “It is a real choice about the direction of this country; it’s a choice with profound implications for our economy, for our security and for our families.”

Canada’s economy officially entered a recession as of this month, according to Statistics Canada, which has become a major point of discussion for all parties’ campaigns.

In Abbotsford, Harper didn’t use the word recession, and instead focused on the signs of growth for the economy in June, including a 0.5 per cent uptick in the GDP. His repeated pledges for a “low-tax” economic plan were met with hearty applause, as were promises of tough sentences for violent criminals.

When he told the assembled crowd about his party’s commitment to maintaining the state of Israel, supporters rose in a standing ovation.

Joining him was a large contingent of candidates and MPs from throughout the Fraser Valley and the eastern Lower Mainland, including Fast and new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Valley candidate Brad Vis. Both said the event’s record turnout was heartening, though not surprising given the region’s long-standing status as a Conservative stronghold.

“I’m very pleased to be able to host such a large rally for the prime minister here in Abbotsford,” said Fast.

“As you know, we have a very strong Conservative family within our community…we’re going to do everything we can to re-elect a member of parliament for the Conservative government in this election, and also help the ridings around here, within the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.”

A small group of protesters had gathered outside the venue, but were not allowed inside.


Just Posted

‘Our schools are safe’

Mission school superintendent Angus Wilson says training, protocols in place

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Mission proposes big jump in business licence fees

Some companies could go from $148 to $10,000 per year

Fraser Valley real estate predicted to slow down in 2018

B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts a cooling market

Two charged in relation to 2017 house-party shooting

Four people were injured in incident a year ago in Abbotsford

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

Most Read