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Unwanted election?

With a federal election set for May 2, most residents say they aren’t happy that they’re heading to polls this spring.
FILE – Michael Ignatieff (left) and Stephen Harper (right). (Photo illustration)
With a federal election set for May 2, most residents say they aren’t happy that they’re heading to polls this spring.

Speculation of a possible spring election peppered the media for months, but that speculation became reality on Friday when the Liberals motioned a vote of non-confidence over an issue of contempt of Parliament.

The non-confidence motions asserted that the ruling Conservative government was in contempt for refusing to fully disclose the cost of its tough-on-crime agenda, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the election date following a Saturday conversation with the Governor General.

While politicians hit the campaign trail, most residents who spoke to on Sunday said they didn’t like the idea of an election in May.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered the federal budget on Tuesday that contained a lot that Paul Driben, 64, said he liked.

"I’m unhappy about (this election)," Driben said. "The budget had a lot of good things in it, especially the cyclotron and the jobs that would have been created by that. I thought that was a real opportunity lost. I know they voted out the government based on ethics, but I thought those things were very important and I’m sad we’re not going to get them."

As politicians start campaigning for the May 2 election, Driben said he wanted politicians to focus on the economy, assistance for seniors and those in poverty.

Maureen Derksen, 70, moved to Thunder Bay from Saskatoon about eight years ago. She moved in with her twin sister Marlene Nachu. She said she was grateful for living with her sister because the cost of living for seniors makes it difficult to live on your own.

"I would like to see more help for the seniors," Derksen said. "The cost of living goes up and the pensions stay pretty well the same. It’s hard to make it by yourself. You have to pay rent, utilities and all these kinds of things. I live with my sister. Thank god for that. It’s a little bit cheaper than living on my own."

Derksen said she’ll rely on her sister’s advice to know who would better serve Thunder Bay when it came time to vote.

Ben Lundy, 21, a second year business student at Lakehead University voted in every election that’s been called since he became an eligible voter. He said he hoped that this time politicians paid more attention to younger voters.

"Maybe they could be more involved at the universities," Lundy said. "Maybe they could do a tour around campuses, or something like that. At least people would be able to see your representative talking or just shaking hands. You’re more likely vote for them than some guy you’ve never seen before."

Lundy added that he wanted environment to be a key focus in this election campaign.

Not all residents thought a spring election was a bad idea.

One man, who did not feel comfortable giving his name, said he believed it was a good idea to have a spring election. The time had come for a change of government with a possible liberal minority, he said.

"I never vote Conservative," he said. "I’m going back to the Liberals. The Conservatives are more constrictive."

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