The Highlander asked Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock candidates three questions. They were:

• Pick one of your party’s issues. Give us a concrete example of
how it will help people in Haliburton County.

• If you were elected and in a position to put forward a Private Members’ Bill, what it would be?

• What issue from your
party’s platform would you vote against in an open/free vote and why?

Zac Miller, NDP

A: There are so many issues that affect Haliburton such as the environment, housing and economic recovery but I think the most urgent to address would be longterm care. Throughout the pandemic it is clear that private corporations have lost the right to run these facilities. Though Haliburton did not experience the tragedy that occurred in Bobcaygeon, or a large outbreak that occurred in Lindsay, every resident deserves to live with dignity and respect. I have organized the community to highlight the needs of removing profit from long-term care and implementing national standards. This means that whenever someone needs to move into a long-term care home, their basic care is met and exceeded. This will benefit residents in Haliburton who have family in LTC or will need to use the health services. 

A: In a minority government there is a higher likelihood that it would pass. I would introduce a bill that reworks the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation so that they once again transfer money to municipalities and counties in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock to build homes that meet each respective region’s growth targets in the riding. Housing is a human right and governments on all levels need to work together to build 1.7 million homes and the NDP supports. 

A: We’ve seen what happens in our communities when politicians don’t keep promises. What’s important is to vote for what I have platformed on and said I would do during this campaign. It’s easy to talk platform ideologies during a campaign but it’s so much more important to work every day to execute those promises, turning words into real legislation, real houses, real infrastructure, real improvements in healthcare. I’m a New Democrat and believe our platform is the most supportive for all Canadians. My only negative vote would be if we weren’t trying to do everything we have committed to.

Angel Godsoe, Green Party

A: The environment, period. It is the reason I became Green. The GPC is the only party that acknowledges the climate catastrophe we are experiencing and has a sciencebased plan to address the problem. And no band-aid approach, no denial; rather a 60 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. This is what we must do for our planet, never mind our riding. We must have bipartisan politics on this issue, we need to work together on this now. Now, or never. 

A: I would propose a federal regulation of shoreline and wetland areas that supports responsible and sustainable development, and provides for effective enforcement against damaging practices that we see are on the rise in our local riding and across Canada. The pressure for development on our shorelines and wetlands is immense, and we need to make sure that future generations can thrive with healthy intact ecosystems to support their well-being and enjoyment of our natural areas. Why should Canadians continue to have such a confusing system of overlap between federal, provincial, and municipal regulations that fall short of offering the kind of protection we need?

 A: Consensus politics must be the future. The goal must be to attain bipartisan support on issues to avoid gridlock and the resulting anger and misbehaviour by MPs and constituents. The GPC believes this and allows its MPs to vote with their conscience on issues. On this date, Sept 9, 2021, I would vote against the release of personal health information to anyone and everyone who asks for it. I think it sets a dangerous precedent and am yet to be convinced that the giving up of that freedom, for questionable security, is required.

Jamie Schmale, Conservative

A: The cost of everything is going up – grocery bills are up five per cent and gas prices have skyrocketed. With inflation at the highest level in 20 years and rising, families are struggling to make ends meet. If I had to pick a single party issue, it would be to secure affordable and reliable internet for the constituents of HaliburtonKawartha Lakes-Brock. Through securing Infrastructure, Canada’s Conservatives will take real action to reduce how much Canadians pay for this essential part of life by building digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to high-speed Internet by 2025; promoting investment in communications facilities by local and regional communities and businesses. While also fostering competition by bringing in new internet companies and upholding high levels of accountability. 

A: At the beginning of every new Parliament (after an election) a draw is held to determine the order in which parliamentarians can submit PMBs. As such, many MPs can go an entire career without ever being able to submit a private member’s bill. That is why most MPs consult organizations and constituents in the riding before determining what their PMB will be. I would not want to predetermine what that issue might be.

 A: Should I be elected as Member of Parliament I would have the duty to review all bills that are introduced in the House of Commons. I fully intend to adhere to that responsibility entrusted to me by the constituents of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. Additionally, as all platform proposals could be votes of confidence, we are not able to answer that question.

Alison Davidson, PPC

A: The main issue right now for me is the COVID passport and other health mandates being imposed right now. The government has been completely ignoring our rights and freedoms. All these mandates need to be stopped and freedom restored in Canada. 

A: If elected, I would put forward a private members bill to limit the governments’ authority to make arbitrary mandates that violate our constitution, our rights and freedoms, without parliamentary procedure. 

A: There are no issues in the PPC platform that I am opposed to. If a vote did come up that I am against, I would be free to vote against it as we do not have a party whip and are free to vote for our constituents.

Gene Balfour, Libertarian

A: This pandemic can end if only our Public Health establishment focusses on immunity and not just vaccines. Immunity can be determined by a simple blood test. My summary of Dr. Noorchashm’s key advice: Test your antibody levels before taking the jab. If you already have high antibody levels from a prior COVID-19 infection or from a prior successful vaccination, you don’t need the jab because you are already immune; test your antibody levels before accepting the jab to protect yourself from vaccine harm. If you take the jab while infected with SARS CoV-2, the jab can kill you; test your antibody levels after each jab to see if it worked. The mRNA molecule is the most unstable molecule known to medical science. 

A: Federal government employees must join a union as a non-negotiable condition of employment. Existing labour legislation empowered union executives to increase the cost of government services to taxpayers unfairly. Proposal: collective bargaining must coexist with collective voting. Union representatives can negotiate a labour contract for all members. Empower them to also issue a single election vote on behalf of all members. No individual voting allowed federal elections. If collective voting is rejected, then union memberships become voluntary, all union-organized work actions become illegal, and unions must submit to annual audits reported to the public.

 A: All political parties represent a spectrum of ideas about the appropriate extent of government powers. The LPoC is no different. Some “anarchocapitalist” Libertarians want no government at all. I prefer ‘minarchy’ (aka LibertarianConservatism) which restricts the role of government to “defend and protect individual persons (their mind, body and efforts) and their property from intentional and unwanted harm imposed by others including the state or any “collective” that acts to game public policy for self-serving special interests at the cost to others.”

Judi Forbes, Liberal

A: Housing; a challenging housing market and high rental prices have made housing a major concern locally and nation-wide. When elected I will work to help everyone in our community realize their goals and dreams of home ownership. Our plan is to: build and/or repair 1.4 million homes; improve access to housing via programs for rent to own, reduced closing costs, and temporary ban on foreign ownership and increase the accessibility tax credit to help seniors stay in their homes longer. 

A: Provide a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to all Canadians. The pandemic has helped bring this issue to the front burner for me, and I will work to push this forward. The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer indicates such a program would boost the average disposable income of Canada’s lowest earners by just over $4,500, reducing poverty across the country. The impact on high earners of such a program would be modest. I would work to couple this with other initiatives such as pharma care, sickleave and other flexible work policies. 

A: I fully support all elements of our platform and when elected I will work to ensure its successful passage and implementation. I would vote against anything that reduces our commitment to provide economic security for all Canadians. We must continue our work on many fronts: recovering from COVID-19, climate change, and indigenous relations and I will work to ensure this continues and oppose any legislation that impedes this 

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