Guergis finds new freedom in being independent MP 0
New mother and Independent Conservative MP Helena Guergis said she running again because of her new son, Zavier.
"After I had him, I thought about things long and hard. I haven't done anything to warrant the disastrous treatment that I've received - and I know that in my heart of hearts," said Guergis, who was kicked out of caucus last April because of allegations against her and her husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer.
"I looked at everything that had happened and I thought 'This is completely crazy and outrageous'. I'm going to stand up for myself, I am going to stand up for my constituents, because if it can happen to me as a member of parliament, it can happen to anyone," she said.
Guergis said she and Jaffer believe in having one parent at home to look after their son.
"I miss him, but I know he's in good hands because he's with his dad," she said.
Guergis' political record includes serving seven years as MP for Simcoe-Grey, and as minister of state for the status of women - among a number of other cabinet roles.
"My father told me at a young age that my role in life would be to get married and have a family," said Guergis, adding her father told her she could not attend university and he did not support her wanting to run for mayor of Essa Township at the age of 24.
"My dad is my biggest supporter now - a complete about-face," said Guergis, who holds an MBA from the University of Alberta.
Guergis said she always wanted to work in politics because she was raised in a politically-active family.
She said she has been a Conservative her entire life.
"The platform that is out there, I participated in all of the policy discussions that produced that," she said.
"I have been an Independent Conservative now for over a year, and nothing has changed in terms of delivery of service, or access, or resources that I need to provide for my constituents - it's business as usual, nothing's changed," she said.
"At the same time though, I have been able to be more free with my voice and ask questions in the House of Commons, or make statements, or even speak to media, and talk about what it is the grassroots are really looking for, without having my words approved by the Prime Minister's Office, or vetted, or written for me," she said.
"If I get elected, they get a Conservative, but they also get the opportunity to tell the Prime Minister that they don't think he handled what happened in this riding with their Member of Parliament well," she said. "That's what I'm hearing door-to-door."
She said there has been some concern about a split in the conservative vote.
Guergis says the Conservative platform is her platform and she fully supports it.
"There are a couple of things I wouldn't mind seeing in there. I would really like to see us take a look at the tax on tax at the pumps, when it comes to gas," she said. "I think that we are over-taxing people and we made a commitment to eliminate the tax on the tax.
"I'm in favour of an elected senate," added Guergis, noting she was disappointed to see Conservative fundraisers appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.