“I support the budget, I support what’s in the budget, and I believe we should move forward with it,” he said. However, he soon tempered that statement by saying he didn’t agree with every one of the 60 items in the 400-page document, referring to the duty-free limits specifically. “I may not agree with everything in this book. I can say I don’t like the tax exemption, but it’s irrelevant because it’s in the book. Taking it out of here is not happening,” said Wilks.
He admitted that he had heard from the Prime Minister’s Office after making the comments in Revelstoke, which were captured by a reporter at the Revelstoke Times Review and by a spectator who recorded video of Wilks’s statements and posted it to YouTube. “You may not agree with all the policies but you have to pick and choose your battles. This is one I choose not to pick,” he said.
And what of how Ottawa works?
“Ottawa is run by a ton of 20-something bureaucrats who know that in three years my term is up and they will still be there,” he said.
He explained to the gathered business owners that MPs are expected to vote as a party rather than as an individual. “If you don’t vote the way the party votes, you will be an independent the next day,” said Wilks. “When you tell me to vote against it, I can’t unless you want an independent MP.” He also said that he would quit rather than vote against the budget. “We do things to piss off the NDP, and they do things to piss us off. Because it’s a bloodsport. Is it right? No, but that’s the way it is,” he said.