Candidates to replace Gordon O’Connor are on the hustings in this riding, including Walter Pamic.
An electrical contractor, Pamic is one of four declared candidates seeking the Conservative nomination in the newly-formed Kanata-Carleton riding. He attended a community meeting in Constance Bay last Sunday and hosts a fundraiser this Friday, Feb. 13.
Pamic’s pitch is that, at 28 years, he has lived in the riding longer than all his competitors combined, including Liberal candidate Karen McCrimmon. But it is his experience as a small business owner that Pamic presses most.
“Small business is the lifeblood of our economy,” Pamic said. “I want to focus on small business. If it’s doing well, everyone is doing well.”
On social issues the owner of Power-Tek Electrical Services is centre-right. For instance, he cedes a place for unions in society, but would like to see membership voluntary and competition among unions encouraged.
He is also a proponent of “getting tough on crime” but believes in spending money on preventative measures, too.
“We have to get at them in Grade 3, 4 and 5,” he said. “That shooting at Tanger in December never should have happened. He was previously in jail and let out. Why we let these people out on our streets to commit these crimes is baffling to me.”
He advocates enlisting some gang members in the military, not, as some city councillors want, to have them join the trades as part of an exit strategy.
“I don’t want them in your house or mine. That just doesn’t make sense to me,” Pamic said. “They need discipline and great role models.”
He walked across a bridge to Quebec alongside MPP Jack MacLaren in support of the Fairness is a Two-Way Street Act. The proposed legislation to make it as difficult for Quebec construction workers to find jobs on this side of the Ottawa as it is for Ontario workers to do the same in Quebec, failed to find enough support at the Liberal-dominated Queen’s Park.
Pamic is for low taxes and small government, hoping one day to “work myself out of a job.” A graduate of Algonquin College’s protective services many years ago, Pamic carries himself as an authority figure: tall, stern but polite. He said many of his friends are police officers.
The son of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia who arrived with no money and unable to speak English, Pamic speaks to newcomers at a YMCA in Ottawa.
“I give them pointers on how to get by, and in every one of their faces I see my parents when they were a young couple.”
He is convinced the Harper government will be returned with another majority. That Justin Trudeau’s verbal gaffes about “whipping out” fighter jets and policies like legalizing marijuana won’t win over many voters.
Gordon O’Connor will not run in this year’s election. Local Conservatives will likely have a candidate chosen by early April.