The name of Fraser Tolmie is likely to be familiar to many residents in the area as the former mayor of Moose Jaw, but now he’s hoping to attach the title ‘Member of Parliament’ to his name.
The former RCAF officer and mayor won the Conservative nomination race for Moose Jaw – Lake Centre – Lanigan two weeks ago, beating out former MP Brad Trost and political newcomer Kathryn Pollack. While his area of focus has been specifically on the City of Moose Jaw, Tolmie says it’s been easy for him to connect with rural residents of the riding as well.
“Moose Jaw exists because of our surrounding rural communities,” says Tolmie. “We are a trading centre for the agricultural community. So Moose Jaw is just an extension of the larger community we have here.”
If elected, Tolmie says he’d like to represent the area’s agricultural concerns in Ottawa, as well as help get the country back on its feet now after the worst of the pandemic.
“A lot of businesses in our riding are looking for people to come back to work so we need to secure jobs. Mental health is another important issue that came to light in the pandemic.”
While the Conservative Party’s platform does include a fair bit of government spending, Tolmie argues that the spending is responsible given that it could boost the economy.
“Conservatives want to spend money on projects that will get people back to work. When you have people working and spending money, that generates revenue.”
Tolmie says his strong track record on bringing infrastructure to the area will also be useful as an MP. He points to his work with the Province of Saskatchewan and the Moose Jaw – Regina Industrial Corridor on helping to bring irrigation and sustainable crops to the area. However, even in a year with record crop failure and disruptive weather patterns linked to global warming, Tolmie declined to give a yes or no answer to whether he thought climate change was real or a legitimate threat.
“I go back to what’s important to the people on the ground. Water security is very important to this region. Quite honestly, that’s where my focus has been.”
Back in March of this year, over half of the Conservative Party caucus voted against a motion that would acknowledge that climate change is real. When asked why Canadian’s should trust the Conservative Party to properly address climate change when over half the party doesn’t believe in it, Tolmie had this to say.
“You know what? I really don’t have an answer for that,” he responded. “I think what’s a real concern is the way the Liberal government has been pursuing this. They’re punishing people rather than giving them an opportunity to buy in.”
Tolmie adds that a bigger issue is the way that Canada’s western provinces have been alienated by the Liberal Party.
“I believe that we need to be united and will require the government to pay attention to what’s going on out west. So my job will be to bring a voice to Ottawa about what’s going on in our constituency.”
In terms of social issues, Tolmie says he considers himself to be pro-life based on his faith and belief in the sanctity of human life.
“After what we’ve been through with the attempt to protect humanity through this pandemic, clearly, society does care about human life. That’s where I stand.”
He went on to say that it’s important for young families to find good homes and be supported by their community but did not say whether we would commit to any political action which would incentivize families to keep children or provide financial support to single mothers.
Paramount for Tolmie, is the revitalization of Canada’s economy. He says anyone who is fiscally responsible should want to curtail the nation’s deficit.
“If we don’t stop this snowball effect, then I am passing on a debt load to my children that will increase their taxes and cost of living in the future,” argues Tolmie. “My job is to provide a better future, not a more difficult one.”
The federal election will take place on Sept. 20. So far, Tolmie will be up against Talon Regent (NDP), Katelyn Zimmer (Liberal), Chey Craik (People’s Party), and D. Craig Townsend (Maverick).
You can listen to our full interview with Fraser Tolmie below: