Martha Hall Findlay

Martha Hall Findlay

Government actions concern Liberal hopeful

Martha Hall Findlay is concerned that the bond between communities is being severed.

Martha Hall Findlay is concerned that the bond between communities is being severed.

The federal Liberal leadership hopeful, who will be in Vernon Tuesday, is monitoring Greyhound’s plans to reduce bus service in B.C.

“It speaks to governance,” said the former Toronto MP.

“There has been no leadership at the federal level about a national transportation strategy.”

Hall Findlay says there is a need to look  at transportation long-term, including passenger bus service, and what it means for the economy and the viability of community, particularly those in rural areas.

Hall Findlay is also closely watching the First Nations rallies across Canada.

“It’s so frustrating to me as a Liberal. The government was engaged in discussions leading up to the Kelowna accord. There was a sense of mutual respect between the government and First Nations,” she said.

“But what happened in 2005? The NDP and the Conservatives brought down the (Liberal) government and Stephen Harper brought down the accord.”

Hall Findlay is one of nine candidates for the leadership, and while it is a crowded space, the lawyer and businessperson believes she stands apart.

“It’s a combination of substance, of being experienced and standing up for what we believe in,” she said.

“I know what it means to make payroll. When the economy is a big issue, that’s pretty important. We need leadership that is substantive and thorough.”

The Conservatives are firmly within a majority government and the NDP have official opposition status, but Hall Findlay insists the Liberals’ goal shouldn’t be focusing on either of those parties.

“We’re trying to attract Canadians,” she said.

“I’ve rebelled against the concept of left or right for years. I don’t subscribe to the view that the Liberals are in the mushy middle. I am fiscal prudent. The Conservatives are spending through the roof and that’s not what I want.”

Hall Findlay will be in B.C. for about a week, including the first debate among the leadership candidates in Vancouver today.

“There is such an interest. Our campaign is going really well,” she said.

Hall Findlay will meet with the public and local party faithful at Vernon’s Los Huesos restaurant Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.