Geet Grewal, Liberal candidate in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding. / Submitted Photo

Geet Grewal, Liberal candidate in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding. / Submitted Photo

Q&A with Liberal Party candidate Geet Grewal

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon candidates answer three questions

  • Sep. 20, 2021 9:30 a.m.

On September 20, Canada goes to the polls to elect the next government of Canada. The Mission Record contacted all five candidates in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding and asked them to answer the following three questions:

1. Dire warnings about the future of the planet continue to be made by environmental scientists. Canada currently ranks 58th in the world in the Climate Change Performance Index – and is far behind its obligations set in the Paris Accords.

What is your position on these obligations? How do you feel your party’s platform is best equipped to address climate change?

2. Young Canadians often view home ownership as a pipe dream. According to monthly data released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, the average July sale price of a property increased over 20 per cent since July prices last year. The national parties have made promises to help ease the cost of housing, what solutions does your party offer that the others don’t?

3. Economic priorities – and where to funnel federal monies – often provides the clearest picture of what divides Canada’s national parties. Where should Canada be focused when it comes to the economy? What are your biggest fears about the current, or alternative, economic trajectories, should another party win the election?

Read the answers below:

Geet Grewal

Liberal

1. The residents of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon have been living on the front lines of climate change this summer – some of our communities are facing the worst air quality conditions in the world, others are being destroyed by fires.

None of us can afford to talk without taking action any longer. This is part of why I decided to seek the federal Liberal nomination for Mission Matsqui Fraser Canyon.

A re-elected Liberal government will move forward with an ambitious plan to accelerate climate action for more jobs, cleaner communities, and less pollution. Most recently Andrew Weaver, climate scientist and former BC Green Party Leader endorsed the Liberal Party of Canada plan calling it “the only credible science-aligned climate plan put forward” by a federal party.

We will cut pollution by building a net-zero electricity grid and ending thermal coal exports, create cleaner communities by making it easier and more affordable to own a zero-emission vehicle and create new jobs in the clean economy while supporting all workers so that no one is left behind.

We will also provide retrofit grants of up to $5,000, interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for deeper retrofits, and additional supports for Canadians to transition off home heating oil. The Liberal plan will also launch a national strategy to chart a path to net-zero emissions from buildings by 2050, with ambitious milestones along the way.

We cannot let the Conservatives rollback climate action. Erin O’Toole would do less and cost more – an Erin O’Toole carbon tax would cut the rebates that hard working families rely on to make life more affordable.

2. All Canadians deserve a safe and affordable place to call home, and many see owning a home as key to building their future and joining the middle class. Our plan aims to save a family buying their first home up to $30,000.

A re-elected Liberal government will move forward with a three-part housing plan, a home for everyone, by Unlocking Home Ownership, building more homes, and protecting your rights.

We will help renters become homeowners by committing $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit, and co-op partners, creating a pathway to homeownership for renters in five years or less.

Our plan will assist young Canadians with a down payment faster by introducing a tax-free First Home Savings Account, which will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 toward their first home, and withdraw it tax-free to put toward their purchase, with no requirement to repay it.

The Liberal plan will reduce monthly mortgage costs by reducing the price charged by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on mortgage insurance by 25 percent. For a typical person, this will save them $6,100.

We will also support Indigenous housing by co-developing with Indigenous partners an Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy, and creating a National Indigenous Housing Centre which will see Indigenous people overseeing federal Indigenous housing programs.

Through the creation of a national Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights we will ensure the process of buying a home is fairer, more open, and transparent.

3. We need to fully conquer COVID-19 and ensure we provide Canadians and Canadian businesses with the support they need to get through this pandemic and come roaring back when the economy fully reopens.

We must ensure we build a more resilient Canada, which is better, more fair, more prosperous, and more innovative. This means we will have to invest in green jobs, our digital transformation and innovation, and build infrastructure for our growing country.

A re-elected Liberal government will move forward with our commitment to create one million jobs and restore employment to pre-pandemic levels. We will also double the Union Training and Innovation program to $50 million a year to support more training opportunities.

We will continue to support Canadian businesses by extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, so businesses can hire more workers and Canadians can get back on the job. We will provide Canada’s hard-hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses to help them get through the winter. We will help small businesses afford costs of new technology with microgrants of up to $2,400 and zero-interest loans for larger projects.

One area where our plan provides particular support is in helping more women succeed in the work force, especially given how COVID-19 has sparked a ‘She-cession’.

More women working in our economy leads to better outcomes, and I’m very proud to see the Liberal government establish a national framework for childcare.