ELECTION 2015: Candidates respond to readers’ questions

The Mission Record asked readers on Facebook what questions they would like to ask contenders in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding

  • Thu Oct 15th, 2015 6:00pm
  • News

The Mission Record recently asked readers on its Facebook page, “If you could ask the candidates in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding one question, what would it be?”

From there, five questions were sent to each of the six candidates: Jati Sidhu of the Liberals, Brad Vis of the Conservatives, Dennis Adamson of the NDP, Arthur Green of the Green Party, Elaine Wismer of the Marxist-Leninist Party, and Independent Wyatt Scott.

Responses were received from Sidhu, Green and Scott.

The five questions were:

1. I would like to know their thoughts on the criminal justice system and penal reform.

2. Exactly what steps will they take to push their respective party to initiate climate change action and exactly what steps will they take to push through pro-active initiatives?

3. Is your party going to abolish Bill C-51?

4. Are they going to address the issue with our ambulance response times and the lack of ambulance service in our area?

5. If elected, how will you as our representative address the issues of people on a disability pension, families, seniors and singles on income assistance living below the poverty line? How will you attempt to change the view these people need to live with an income based on bare necessities rather than on a sustainable income?

ARTHUR GREEN: GREEN PARTY

1. We in the Green Party believe in a more proactive response in regards to Criminal Justice and Penal Reform. We believe that crimes involving violence deserve longer sentences with mandatory rehabilitation processes, so as violent offenders would not be offered any premature parol until they’ve satisfied rehabilitation targets. Whereas nonviolent crimes would be more of a restitution punishment, as in monetary, public service, and ongoing rehabilitation for personal improvement of short comings and ongoing monitoring.

2. We in the Green Party believe that a Climate Action initiative should begin the day after the election, on Oct. 20. As a nation we have put this off for way too long, that our physical environment is at a tipping point and in jeopardy of going beyond a 2 degree rise of our baseline temperature. We must start to wean ourselves off fossil fuels immediately. The current government’s proposal for the end of the century is not nearly good enough, and will insure devastating effects of major sea level rise, unusual numbers of extreme weather patterns, and a billion refugees.

3. The Green Party is absolutely against Bill C-51, and would abolish at its first opportunity. We believe it makes us less secure, not more, and infringes on Canadian Constitutional Rights.

4. Though the ambulance service is a provincial issue, personally I’ve been working with various members of the BC Ambulance Service to restore funding and bargaining back to its members. The BC Government has removed their right to bargain these issues, creating low moral and unfair compensation towards its members. I will do whatever is possible to assist in this matter, elected or not.

5. In regards to a fair income assistance agenda, the Green Party is proposing a Guaranteed Livable Income for all ages. This will provide independence, well being, and dignity of life. This would coincide with Seniors Pension Reform and a National Housing Plan. This would also coincide with a National Homeless Strategy and Dementia Strategy. We are also proposing a Pharmacare and Dental Program for Seniors and Youth, as well as free Post Secondary Tuition by 2020. All these programs have been costed in our Balanced Budget by the Parliamentary Accountant.

WYATT SCOTT: INDEPENDENT

1. There are lots of important issues that currently surround our criminal justice system. As we all heard at the debates there is great concern about the current level of support being offered to our CO’s within the system. I believe there is always room for growth and potential to make the system better. We need to support the people who protect us and the inmates themselves. I think there is a need to improve the current penal system and I would support a reform in a positive direction.

2. I fully support any initiative put forward to promote climate change action. Part of my platform is to advocate for and encourage the green sector here within our riding, province and country. As a nation we must embrace green technologies and establish a balance between new realities and respect for traditions. By promoting green technologies we can improve our economy while at the same time protecting and preserving the natural heritage of the Fraser Valley and Canyon.

3. I will stand by my decision to support any initiative to repeal Bill C-51. I feel this Bill is an infringement of my civil liberties and I believe a full repeal is necessary.

4. If elected as your MP I will make it a priority to work with the municipality and province to ensure my constituents have top quality services. I understand the importance of first responders and will work to ensure the responders have the resources necessary to deliver the best services possible.

5. As Canadians, we are so fortunate to live in the country that we do. Canada is know as one of the most desirable places on the planet to live. Much of this is attributed to the fact that we have outstanding social programs in place to protect those who cannot always care for themselves or who run into unfortunate circumstances. I believe that in a country as wealthy and with the abundance of resources that Canada has, we have a unique opportunity to offer something for everyone. Once we start to create more diverse employment opportunities we will see a decline in the reliance of income assistance while also allowing more connections for persons with disabilities to enter the workforce. Every community strives for their citizens to have access to basic necessities and what’s more is that we want our people to live good lives and to thrive.

JATI SIDHU: LIBERAL PARTY

1. I believe that a Liberal government should reverse the current Conservative government’s policy of mandatory minimum sentences and mega prisons, and further, that a Liberal government shall treat drug use and addiction as a health matter and not a criminal justice matter. I stand with my party in supporting the regulation of marijuana. I also believe we should begin discussing what should happen with people who have been charged for transgressions that the country no longer considers criminal.

2. It’s time Canada be a leader for the environment again. Justin Trudeau will lead a delegation of the country’s first ministers to the UN’s climate-change conference in Paris in December. We’re going to end fossil fuel subsidies and we will also introduce a national carbon-pricing plan. In addition, we will also establish national emissions-reduction targets, informed by the best economic and scientific analysis – not special interest groups or science-deniers.

3. Bill C-51 contains significant measures to keep Canadians safe. That is why, after much deliberation, we supported it. But we have heard Canadians’ concerns about this bill, and believe our party’s amendments will address them if we form the next Government:

– We will protect peaceful protest, including civil disobedience.

– Enhance information sharing within our government, but limit it to relevant departments.

– Ensure CSI has NO police powers.

– Limit ministerial powers to interfere with air travel.

– Establish an all-party national security oversight committee.

If elected, we commit to adding all-party oversight, stronger protections, strengthening of the privacy commissioner’s powers and a sunset clause.

4. I am well aware of the many problems regarding ambulance response times in the riding and have been told by some of my potential constituents that this is a significant concern. We will begin the necessary collaborative federal leadership that has been missing during the Harper decade and negotiate a new Health Accord with provinces and territories, including a long-term agreement on funding. Such funding to the province could be an excellent asset in this regard. In addition I would be more than happy to talk to those affected by this and discuss how I could help raise this issue’s profile. Feel free too call me at 778-242-4542 to discuss.

5. The Liberal Party have several specific policies to address poverty in the community. For example, we’re introducing a new Child Benefit for singles and low-income families. We’re also increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single-low income seniors by ten percent. Changing a view, however, is much more difficult than simply increasing funding. I believe my party is well on its way to closing the gap between richest and poorest in this country (see our 7 percent tax cut to the middle class and tax increase on the wealthiest Canadians). I can promise you this: In my riding, any constituent who feels they are getting lost in the bureaucratic shuffle regarding income support can contact me where I will do everything to ensure they are getting the very maximum support this Government is committed to provide.