Jeff Green | Jan 19, 2006
Feature Article - January 19, 2006
Feature ArticleJanuary 19, 2006
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Geoff Turner:Youthful exuberance from an old line party
by Jeff Green
Geoff Turner might be the only Liberal candidate in the country that is campaigning with the slogan “Positive Change Starts Here”, but 24-year-old Geoff Turner is running a campaign against the incumbent Conservative and is promoting himself as someone who is fully committed to the people within the riding.
“We don’t just need a representative in Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington,” Geoff Turner told the News, “We need somebody who is not just an advocate but we need a champion; we need somebody who is going to be dedicated to people and who will ensure that they will receive the best from their government.”
Turner also thinks it would be a major advantage for a young person to be chosen for that role. “My campaign is going very well,” he said, “people are responding to the young, energetic new face coming in, someone who does not see this as simply a step in a political career.”
Although he is campaigning as a fresh face, Turner maintains that the Liberal government has done a lot in the past 13 years.
He points out that the federal budget has been in surplus for eight years; unemployment is at a generational low; and the Canadian economy is the envy of the world. “Things are very, very good, right now in Canada,” he said.
He also says the government has been a positive force in this riding.
“There are a lot of things that the federal government already does for this riding, through programs that apply directly to the riding. Through the funding of Community Futures Development Corporations, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, and infrastructure funding, the government has been very positive for the people of Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington.”
Geoff Turner is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, where he received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. He then completed a trip to far-flung regions of the world, where his interest in international development issues was peaked. When he returned to Canada, he decided that throwing his hat into the political ring would be a good idea.
“As a young person, I don’t have family concerns to stop me from expending all my energy in this campaign,” he said.
The key local issues in this campaign are the Environment and Agriculture, according to Geoff Turner. While he agrees that agriculture is the backbone of the economy in the riding, he cautions against seeing farming as the only economic engine in the riding.
“The rural lifestyle can move beyond the agricultural lifestyle, through the vibrancy of our small towns as places to visit and places to live. That is not to say there aren’t vibrant and successful farms or that farmers don’t need support, but the economy of this riding is more diverse than that.”