Jobs, elderly issues, and the economy its not just the fight against crime thats on Julian Fantinos mind the day after his election win that takes him to Ottawa as Conservative MP representing Vaughan.
The phone is ringing off the hook in Fantinos home the day after the scant but very important win in the Vaughan by-elections. Despite the newly elected MPs strong disposition, there is some indication of weariness in his voice after a long night awaiting the results, mitigated only by the huge satisfaction from the victory. In an interview with Corriere Canadese/Tandem, the newly elected MP focuses on his new career.
So, do we still refer to you as Chief Fantino or Honourable Fantino?
Im always the same person, Im always the Julian Fantino who continues in his activity at the service of the community, even if from a different position.
What will change, then, in Julian Fantinos activity starting Nov. 30?
I dont think as of today that anything has changed, while at the same time, everything has.
Can you explain?
Nothing has changed in that, as always, Ill continue to give my all through my work. I take things seriously and, therefore, I will be committed to the utmost. On the other hand, everything has changed in that first, my task was to arrest criminals who didnt respect the law. So Ive always been in contact with very particular people who certainly didnt represent the majority of citizens in this country. Now instead, I speak with the rest of the population, the one that works honestly, pays taxes, respects the law, but that also has many problems. So now I have to place all my efforts into helping these people resolve their problems.
So you will not be the poster boy in the fight against crime?
Look, the fight against criminals must always be held in high regard and more attention needs to be lent especially to victims of crime. But there are many other problems that must be dealt with and resolved, and this is the job of an MP, not a police officer.
So you will not be an MP committed in one direction only?
Certainly not. I dont see my candidacy in this light. Im an MP who is concerned about other problems as well.
Can you give an example?
The situation of the elderly, the problems in the economy, the difficulties of small businessmen, the creation of new jobs, which are the first bastion against criminality. At the local level, notwithstanding that the problem is of a provincial nature and not federal, I wish to continue helping in any way in the building of a hospital in the City of Vaughan. I had been involved in this sector when I was with the police force, and will continue to be even more markedly now that Im in Ottawa.
What emotions are you feeling the day after?
Its an experience that brings you in direct contact with real people an experience that makes you feel humble and, at the same time, satisfied and honoured for the support that many honest and hard-working people wanted to demonstrate towards me.
What has this campaign taught you?
Ive had direct contact with real people, people of every class and culture and I had the opportunity to listen to the problems theyre dealing with at this very delicate time especially for the economic uncertainties. These conversations have given me much energy and especially the strength and inspiration to continue in public service in a different capacity and as a member of a team that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Certainly, but is getting to Parliament a final destination or a stopover? In other words, when will you enter Harpers government?
Look, Ive always been a team player and will continue to be. My aim is to help resolve problems in what capacity it will be Prime Minister Harper to decide, and Ill accept whatever decision he makes. The only thing that wont change is my commitment.
Are you satisfied more with the victory or that the election campaign is over?
It was undoubtedly a very tough campaign and, I must tell the truth, many things disturbed me. I also know, however, that these things happen they have to be dealt with and overcome this is a democracy. I have no regrets about this campaign and the verdict of the people repays the odd delusion and attack that I felt was unjustified. But, as I said, in the heat of the campaign, that should be expected its part of the game and one must always look ahead.
Who do you dedicate this victory to?
Obviously to my family, but I want to dedicate it mainly to my parents who represent practically all those who have come to this wonderful country with nothing and have managed, thanks to the opportunities offered but also and especially with their human and professional ability, to attain great achievements. I owe my political success to them and to them I dedicate this. Certainly, theres always room to improve, but we must recognize that Canada is a great country.