Opinion: And so it begins

The flurry of recent funding announcements come against a backdrop of aggressive campaigning that began months ago

If the rumours are right, one of the longest federal election campaigns in the nation’s history will launch this weekend.

Prime Minster Stephen Harper is expected to visit the Governor General on Sunday, putting into motion an 11-week campaign leading up to an Oct. 19 election.

Typically, campaigns are 37 days. However, the recent Fair Elections Act changed that. Now, with greater flexibility on election spending, political parties can run longer (and ultimately more expensive) campaigns.

Voters in Chilliwack, however, could be excused for thinking the campaign started months ago.

The flurry of recent funding announcements come against a backdrop of aggressive campaigning by candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Mark Strahl. Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and email in-baskets have been filled with electioneering and hype.

The drip-drip of government announcements reached a torrent this week. Since Monday, more than 55 announcements were made, ranging from support for smoking cessation programs, to support for seniors, veterans and First Nations. There was money for municipal infrastructure programs, contract extensions for airports and improvements to seaports and dock facilities.

In Chilliwack, nearly a quarter-million dollars in federal money was presented on Tuesday for upgrades to the Landing Leisure spray park. More money was dolled out Wednesday for salmon research and habitat enhancement.

The funds follow another cheque, delivered two weeks ago for a portion of the Vedder Bridge replacement.

Next week, the campaign will take on another tone. Once parliament is dissolved incumbent MPs are free to tap their own war chests and begin campaigning in earnest.

It promises to be a long 11 weeks.

Just Posted

PHOTO: Add flavour to your weekend with the Chilliwack Garlic Festival

The annual garlicky event runs Saturday and Sunday at Fantasy Farms

Fleeing helicopter that landed in Chilliwack part of major cross-border drug bust: documents

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read