Party leader concerned with how many Canadians are not voting
AMHERST - Soon after leaving the military in 1995, Jim Hnatiuk started to think about what kind of Canada would be left for future generations.
As he considered entering politics, he began researching each of Canada's political parties and soon found the Christian Heritage Party was the closest to his values and his vision of the future.
"It became much clearer to me as I retired and my children were getting married and having children that I started thinking about what we're going to be leaving our children," Hnatiuk said. "It wasn't so much as how pleased I was with Christian Heritage Party as it was how displeased I was with the other parties."
Hnatiuk said the major political parties were the problem with Canadian politics in that they'd lost touch with the grassroots party members.
Before joining the party in 2002, he briefly toyed with the idea of starting his own party before realizing just how many political parties are on the electoral landscape.
He ran in Kings-Hants in 2004 and 2008 and South Shore-St. Margaret's in 2006.
Hnatiuk became deputy party leader in 2005 and won the party's leadership in 2008.
Hnatiuk said more and more Canadians are feeling disenfranchised. It's something he's hearing on the campaign trail not only in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley but across the country.
"In the last election more than 40 per cent of Canadians didn't vote," Hnatiuk said. "They've lost trust in the main political parties and may not be aware there are alternatives out there."
His party's better solutions platform talks about a fresh approach to politics, including a $1,000 per month family care allowance policy that will assist parents who want to care for their own children in their own homes.
The party's platform also includes better solutions for health care, business and the economy, immigration and justice.
Hnatiuk said many of his members are former Conservatives and he is pushing his party as the real alternative to the governing party. He says the Christian Heritage Party is the only "truly conservative party left in Canada."
Since the Reform-Alliance merged with the Conservative Party several years ago, Hnatiuk said there has been a trickle of supporters coming over to the Christian Heritage Party as they find out the political marriages wasn't all
that it was supposed to be.
Internally, the Christian Heritage Party has been taking a close look at itself and has been focusing on its image and its message as the
Key to the party's growth, he added, would be to elect a member of Parliament because it would bring national recognition to the party.
Did You Know:
- Jim is 60 years old and lives in Enfield.
- He and his wife, Ellen, have been married 37 years.
- Jim spent 25 years in the navy's combat systems engineering department with postings on both the east and west coasts.
- He is a successful businessman, running the largest hunting, fishing and taxidermy business in Nova Scotia
- His favourite books were Marjorie Bowen's William of Orange trilogy.
- Among his favourite movies is the Passion of the Christ.
- If he could have lunch with any political figure from history it would be John Diefenbaker because of his boldness and his passion.