INGLESIDE – North Dundas politico Eric Duncan is seeking the nomination for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
Duncan announced his intentions today (Jan. 31).
In a sit-down interview with Cornwall Newswatch in Ingleside, Duncan says he had some heads up when MP Guy Lauzon announced his retirement last weekend, but he still needed to talk with friends and family before making a decision.
“It’s been something that’s always been in the back of my mind. Since I was a child, I’ve had a dream of serving in the House of Commons someday and representing my community and my country,” Duncan said.
The 31-year-old has racked up plenty of political experience: a parliamentary assistant to Lauzon for nine years, a North Dundas politician for 12 years, a county warden twice and a campaign manager both federally and provincially.
The Winchester native has been working for his family’s trucking company, JED Express in South Mountain, and also took a couple of months off after finishing his term as mayor of North Dundas.
Spending most of this life in politics, Duncan was asked whether working for the family business – which has been doing full-time for three years – was a strategy to give him some private sector experience in case he was challenged on that point by a political opponent.
“I guess that would be fair, but no. It wasn’t a plan. I left shortly after the last (federal) election. I made sure Guy (Lauzon) got re-elected and served as campaign manager and stayed for a few months after that, but then I let him know that I wanted to try it out. Dad’s always talked to me about being involved in the business. We have had other family members involved and I was looking for a change. It was an experiment for myself to see the difference between working in government and working in the private sector,” Duncan said.
Duncan says it also gave him a chance to figure out what direction he wanted to go with his career, leading to today’s announcement.
As for the campaign for the October election, he says the carbon tax will be a major national issue. “We have a lot of commuter families. People that live outside of Cornwall that commute into Cornwall every day. You look at Crysler and North Dundas that go into Ottawa every day and you have Morrisburg and Iroquois that go to Brockville every day. A lot of people in South Glengarry drive to Montreal every day. They shouldn’t be penalized for having a job and going to work every day with an increased tax.”
Duncan says there’s never been a tax increase that promises a rebate that will cover it. “That just doesn’t fly. For a lot of our commuter families, it’s not going to cover it.”
If he gets the Conservative nomination and is elected MP, Duncan would also like to turn around the deficit spending on Parliament Hill.
“The last four years, we’ve had deficits, there’s no end to them whatsoever. I even say to our local media, how many infrastructure announcements have you been from the federal government in the last years? We have hundreds of billions of dollars in deficits, a lot of that coming from the Liberals in the last years, and we have nothing to show for it here,” he said.
Duncan has filed his papers with the Conservative Party of Canada. The local riding association is working on the process and a candidate should be chosen sometime by late March or early April.
Listen to the full interview with Eric Duncan: