Chris Sweet follows in father’s political footsteps, seeks Conservative nomination in HWAD

“The more I thought about it, the more I thought I was suited to it,” he said.

He said his father has offered some advice on his burgeoning political career: listen to the people.

“He basically told me — and it’s important for any job — I had to listen to people,” said Sweet. “About 80 per cent of the job is listening. I’m in my learning stage.”

He said there are a few basic issues people are concerned about,  such as the deficit, trust in government, and he said especially how Trudeau and his finance minister Bill Morneau have been accused of ethical lapses and tax irregularities.

Sweet said the best way to help businesses grow is to eliminate the “road blocks” and then step back and watch them flourish.

As for the Liberals decision to allow the legalization of recreational marijuana, scheduled to start July 1, Sweet wouldn’t say if he or his party would try to repeal it if the Conservatives win a majority government in 2019.

“It will be the law of the land,” he said.

But he wants to make sure people are using marijuana in a safe way, such as no smoking and driving, and any businesses selling cannabis is far enough away from schools, daycare centres and recreation facilities.

Sweet, a Hamilton District School graduate, who recently married and is a homeowner, can relate to the struggles younger people are encountering these days.

He said it’s always a risk to operate a business, even when the economy is humming along, while also trying to start a family.

“My generation is the one most affected (by the Liberals’ economic issues),” he said. “I’ve got some common ground with them. A lot of people are struggling with starting a family, starting a career. The best way to help them is to empower them.”

Sweet did take a shot at Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Liberal MP Filomena Tassi, a first-time politician,  questioning what she has done for the riding since her 2015 election.

“My father brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the riding,” said Sweet, referring to the federal help for the Dundas School of Art, McMaster University, and the Ancaster Aquatic Centre. “We are not seeing anything close to that with our current MP.”

As Sweet prepares for what could be a competitive nomination process — no other candidate has emerged and no date for the meeting has been set — he is already knocking on doors and meeting people.

“I’m ready to listen and learn and work hard to win back HWAD.”

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