Opposition ready, Cash says

05/15/11 – By MATT LOPES

Andrew Cash says staying in touch with his voters is a promise he made to himself. PHOTO By flickr/joebenbram

Andrew Cash has come a long way since his days spent rocking out on stage with his band L’Etranger.

But after a grueling campaign and a historic win for this new MP, Cash is now playing a new tune: he’s leaving the band to sit in the House of
Commons.

Before the federal election on May 2, the riding of Davenport had been a Liberal stronghold for 49 years, and just like many formerly red ridings in Canada, it was swallowed up in the orange tide.

“It was clear that there was one party talking about the issues that really matter to the people of Davenport and those issues largely are the issues of affordability,” Cash says.

When Cash takes his seat in the House of Commons alongside his NDP peers, he will be looking at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his majority holding Tories.

But unlike the past, Cash says the Conservatives will face a much more focused official opposition.

“Harpers always had a majority (because they were) in large measure enabled by the official opposition who voted with him on countless occasions,” Cash says. “We were elected to be a strong official opposition and that’s what we’ll be.”

Cash says staying in touch with the voters is a promise he made to himself.

“People always say they don’t see politicians until election time. I promised myself I would never be that kind of politician and I promised the voters as well and I¹m going to live up to that promise,” Cash says.

Throughout his campaign, Cash says he was a door-to-door politician who was well received and well liked at community debates, and even came up with a whimsical slogan “Trade your Silva for Cash,” referring to former Liberal MP Mario Silva.

And the voters did as Cash garnered 53.6 per cent of the 39,346 Davenport votes.

“We can’t actually credit that slogan to just one person,” he says. “People in the office were bouncing ideas back and forth and somehow this one came up, and it turned out to be charming, people really enjoyed it and got a good laugh out of it.”

Among some of the issues Cash focused on as issues for Davenport residents were affordability, security for the urban worker, and accreditation for new immigrants.

He says if the federal government removes the HST from home heating, making cell phone rates more competitive, and working toward affordable housing, life can be more affordable.

“We’re going to be fighting really hard in the next parliament to bring affordable housing, which the Federal Government really needs to do,” he says.

With Davenport being a harbour for new Canadians, Cash says immigrants should go through a quicker process when it comes to receiving their accreditation.

“We don’t want doctors and engineers driving cabs we want them practicing their profession, this is a very important issue here in Davenport,” he says.

Cash says the party knows voters will be watching them as they become the opposition for the first time in Ottawa, to see if they can live up to the promises made during the campaign.

It’s a challenge Cash says he and his party are ready for.

“We have a strong mandate from the Canadian public to go into the House of Commons and fight for these issues and were going to be focused on driving home the methods in the agenda of affordability,” he says.

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