Tim Kane has decided to step up to the plate and carry the Liberal banner into the federal election in the fall.
The founder of Delta Media met with the Peninsula News Review recently to talk about his candidacy and the battle his party faces in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding.
“Last year, I kinda jumped out of my chair (while watching political news) and said I can’t stand it anymore,” Kane, a resident of Saanich, said. “I had to do something.”
As a child, Kane said he grew up in a family that supported the NDP federally, and by Grade 7, he was already acting as a scrutineer in elections.
Over the years, he said he built up his media business alongside his wife Sheena Pennie, and gradually found his political leanings were more to the Liberal side of the House.
Since his retirement and subsequent move to Vancouver Island, he said he has been watching politics and got involved with the local Liberal party association. It was only recently, however, that he decided to let his name stand for the upcoming election.
“There is a cumulative reason why I want to run, “he said.
“First, it’s the disinterest of voters and their distrust of politics. And more recently, I found myself very upset and concerned at the treatment of our veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
Kane said he’s not normally an angry person, “but that was enough to rattle me.”
In October of 2014, Kane said he asked the party association who the local Liberal candidate was going to be.
“We didn’t have an answer.”
So Kane stepped up.
Kane was officially acclaimed as the Saanich-Gulf Islands Liberal candidate on Feb. 14, 2015.
He was the first out of the gate to get his election material up — a large billboard along the Pat Bay Highway has him standing in a photo with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. His early start clearly shows that he wants to raise the profile of the Liberals on the Saanich Peninsula.
He admitted, however, that his party does have a fight on its hands.
Saanich-Gulf Islands is currently held by the federal Green Party and its leader, Elizabeth May. May is a popular politician both locally and in Ottawa but Kane said there is a chink in her armour.
“I have great respect for Ms. May, but all she can do is yell from the sidelines in the House of Commons and nothing is really done.
“There needs to be a Liberal government and an MP as part of that party in order to do the job of governing for the riding,” he continued.
Kane also took aim at the Harper Conservatives, saying the Liberals would take on and solve the challenges left in the wake of “the Harper Regime.”
Since being named the party’s man in Saanich-Gulf Islands, Kane has been out raising his profile at various community events. Already, he said he is hearing that people are looking for change at the federal level. Some of that stems from the recent NDP victory at the provincial level in Alberta. While Kane chalks that up as a bit of a “blip,” he did admit that outcome will make the parties in Ottawa take notice.
“I feel the Liberals are still in the best position to replace the Conservatives,” he said.
As for Trudeau as leader, and potential prime minister, Kane said he feels Trudeau can do the job.
“I’m getting a lot of positive reaction about him and it should be said that Stephen Harper had about as much time in politics as Justin does by the time he first took office.”
On the issue of a balanced federal budget, Kane said a completely balanced budget, as described by the Conservatives, is a misnomer. There are too many unknowns, he said, that could make the Harper government’s budget suddenly fall out of balance.
Asked whether the Liberals would seek to balance the budget, Kane said the party has done so in the recent past and is capable of doing it again. However, he noted that may not be the wisest course of action in times when the economy and government are doing well.
Kane said the official election writ could be dropped as early as the first week of August and that could mean 90 days of election campaigning. Locally, he said he has to knock on doors and meet as many people as he can to increase his profile and get the Liberal message out there.
“There’s an appetite for change, and we know that.”