Business as usual on the Opposition side

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dave van kesteren web

The view may be different from their seats on the other side of the House, but for two local Members of Parliament, it’s business as usual in terms of representing their constituents.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley, who handily outpaced Liberal challenger Ken Filson by 12,000 votes, was grateful for his success but stunned by the national vote.

Chatham Mazda from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

“I thank the local voters who chose to send me back to Ottawa but I’m still mystified by the national result,” he said. “Under Stephen Harper we were poised to continue our economic growth and build a stronger nation.”

He called the 11-week campaign grueling but is anxious to continue to represent local residents.

“We still have issues to face I will continue to bring those forward as I have for the past three terms,” he said. “In political life, your fate is always out of your hands but I still have the desire to serve and will continue to do so.”

He said he’s proud of relationships he has built during the past decade.

“In the end, your personal integrity carries through no matter what side of the House you’re on.”

Chatham-Kent-Leamington MP Dave Van Kesteren, who survived a strong challenge by Liberal Katie Omstead to win by 2,300 votes, said it’s been non-stop activity since the election.

“We had almost three intense months campaigning and the day after the vote we started cleaning up signs, closing offices and doing all the things we have to do,” he said.

“There have been some really important events to attend so it’s been busy.”

Van Kesteren said he’s anxious to get to work on a number of issues that were brought up in the election.

“During a campaign, people are more focused and there is a lot of dialogue with constituents,” he said. “It’s a good thing because we need to be aware in order to get things done.”

Van Kesteren said his long-standing committee work would hold him in good stead in bringing local issues forward.

“It’s going to be different because I’ve never experienced being in opposition but I’ve never been one to be overly combative so I believe I have the respect of those on the other side.”

Van Kesteren said it will be some time before there is any discussion of appointing a shadow cabinet.

“I don’t believe anything will be seriously discussed until after Remembrance Day,” he said.

Both Van Kesteren and Shipley deferred questions about possible appointments until the caucus has had a chance to meet.

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