Interview and Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Eric Duncan, the Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, has been making headlines since his early foray into politics. Notably, one of the youngest elected officials in Canadian history, Duncan has been a trailblazer, demonstrating remarkable leadership skills and a dedication to public service.
Duncan’s political journey began at 18 when he was elected as a Councillor in North Dundas, a remarkable achievement for a young person entering the political arena. Just four years later, at 22, Duncan was elected as Mayor, further solidifying his reputation as a rising star in Canadian politics. His youthful energy, coupled with a strong sense of community engagement, won constituents’ hearts and propelled him to become the youngest SD&G Warden at age 25.
In 2019, Eric Duncan achieved another significant milestone by winning a seat in the Canadian Parliament. His victory marked the beginning of a new chapter in his political career, and his commitment to public service remains unwavering. Demonstrating his effectiveness as a legislator, Duncan was re-elected in 2021, proving that his constituents continue to place their trust in him to represent their interests on the national stage.
One standout quality distinguishing Eric Duncan is his enthusiasm for volunteer work. Despite his demanding role as a Member of Parliament, he consistently finds time to contribute to various community initiatives. His personal passions include newspaper digitization, an effort to preserve and make accessible historical records, as well as cenotaph restorations, a tribute to the brave men and women who have served the country. Duncan’s commitment to community building is also evident in his role as Co-Chair of his high school reunion at NDDHS, showcasing his dedication to fostering lasting connections and cherishing the bonds that shaped his youth.
Eric Duncan’s dedication to public service has not gone unnoticed, and he has recently been appointed to a senior role on Pierre Poilievre’s Leadership Team. This appointment is a testament to his leadership skills and his colleagues’ confidence in his ability to make a positive impact within the political arena. Duncan’s strong work ethic, combined with his genuine passion for serving his constituents, continues to earn him respect and admiration from his peers and the public.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – Can you explain your opposition to the carbon tax and what alternative measures you propose to address climate change?
“The carbon tax has failed. It has never helped the Liberals meet a single climate change target they have set, and instead, it is adding to the skyrocketing price of food. The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer says that ‘household rebates’ don’t cover the carbon taxes each family or person pays. On top of that, small businesses and farmers get zero rebates, so it costs more to operate and compete, and they push up their prices to cover the tax. Conservatives would focus on technology, not taxes. Carbon capture and storage, nuclear technology, and mining critical minerals here in Canada can make a massive improvement- without raising the cost of living on everyday Canadians.”
2 – With the rising housing and rent costs, what specific policies or actions do you believe are necessary to alleviate this issue for Canadians?
“For context, housing prices, mortgage payments, rent, and down payments have all doubled under the Liberals. The size of these drastic increases is uniquely Canadian, despite our country having huge amounts of land to build new homes. Simply put- gatekeepers are blocking new homes getting built to keep up with demand. The Liberal’s reports state we need to triple the pace of new housing builds in Canada to keep up. Yet this year, the number of new starts is down a stunning 30% across the country. Conservatives would get federal deficits under control to lower inflation and the cost of building and tie big cities’ infrastructure funding to the actual number of houses they get built.”
3 – What is your stance on the bail system, and what measures do you propose to address concerns regarding public safety and repeat offenders?
“With violent crime up 32% in Canada, we need to reverse the bail changes that the Trudeau Liberals passed back in 2017. It has created a revolving door of catch-and-release for repeat, violent criminals to access easy bail. Every single Premier in Canada, including Liberal and NDP ones, have called for the Liberal’s failed policy to be immediately reversed. They are only making small changes that don’t address the sad and dangerous reality of easy bail access. Conservatives believe in jail, not bail, for repeat violent offenders. We cannot have half measures when it comes to public safety. We will ensure that repeat violent offenders remain behind bars while awaiting trial, and we will bring back mandatory jail time for serious violent crimes that the Liberals repealed.”
4 – Could you elaborate on your concerns about the lack of consultation and resources for asylum seekers being housed in Cornwall? What steps should be taken to address this issue effectively and quickly?
“In Cornwall, we constantly have a frustrating relationship with the federal government. Time and time again on issues like our waterfront lands, the original cruise-ship quarantines at the beginning of the pandemic, and now with the sudden opening of massive asylum processing centres. Zero notice and support or proper communication is unacceptable. Months later, there have been no assurance that local services that were majorly impacted will be reimbursed for their extra expenses. The Liberals are always reacting, not constructively reaching out. I would ensure that this local communication and respect for local leaders improves under a Conservative government in Ottawa.”
5 – Given your extensive involvement in community volunteerism, how do you plan to leverage this experience to address the needs and concerns of your constituents effectively?
“I love volunteering in the community and getting out to support as many events and organizations as I possibly can. My parents instilled in me the need to be involved and step up by saying, “Don’t complain if you aren’t ready to do something about it yourself.” I have learned a lot of new skills and met many great friends and supporters through my volunteer work. It has helped me in my work as MP and provides me with a sense of accomplishment by helping with small things that make a difference around home.”
Follow MP Eric Duncan on Facebook.