2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied all candidates with a series of questions. Each week, we will publish their answers to questions pertinent to this riding.

In this article, the five Courtenay-Alberni candidates answer the following question: “Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?” (300 word maximum). Order of placement was done at random.

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GORD JOHNS

New Democratic Party

NDP candidate Gord Johns is seeking re-election in the Courtenay-Alberni riding. Photo supplied.

The most important issue in Courtenay-Alberni is affordability. It’s time to put people and the planet ahead of the interests of corporate insiders. Together, we can cut emissions and build a sustainable economy that creates more opportunities for workers and makes life more affordable for all.

I support these actions to make life more affordable while addressing the climate emergency:

• Create a $15 billion climate-jobs plan to cut emissions and create 300,000 good jobs across Canada.

• Build 500,000 new affordable non-market homes.

• Boost a sustainable fishery by protecting and restoring the wild salmon population.

• Protect our coastal waters and economy with improved legislation and enforcement to remove derelict vessels.

• End subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and establish science-based targets in law – to hold global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees or less and make government legally accountable for meeting them.

• Expand medicare to include universal pharmacare and a dental care benefit.

• Create 500,000 affordable child care spaces in next four years.

• Cap and reduce tuition fees and student loan interest and eventually, free post-secondary education.

• Save lives with common sense reforms to illicit drug laws including harm reduction, decriminalization and treatment.

• Cap cell phone and internet fees for consumers.

• Require the very wealthiest multimillionaires to pay 1% more so we can invest in services we all rely on.

• Invest in First Nations housing with green energy technology, including training and jobs for communities.

• Completely clear the backlog of veterans benefits applications with full implementation of Veterans Affairs standards.

Average annual federal infrastructure investment for local governments in Courtenay-Alberni was 17 times greater during my four year term than during the previous ten years of Conservative government with Conservative MP’s representing us.

Elect an MP who will work across the aisle and do politics differently to achieve real results.

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JONAH GOWANS

Liberal Party of Canada

Jonah Gowans is running for the Liberal Party in the Courtenay-Alberni riding. Photo supplied.

I think the most critical issue is climate change this election, and its long term impact. The Liberal Party has been a leader on this file. Canada both internationally and domestically is recognizing the need to take a firm stance. The fact there is a price on pollution is the most obvious example, however, there are other plans going forward. We will put a national ban on single-use plastics and make corporations that use such plastics responsible for them. We will cut clean technology companies’ taxes by 50% which will make them more competitive and hopefully help spur further innovation forward. We will end 8/9 fossil fuel subsidies. Those we will keep for the moment involve First Nations that use diesel.

To tackle this problem we need a plan and a goal. The goal is to be carbon emissions net-zero by 2050. To do this we will set legally-binding five-year milestones, based on the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians while trusting scientists, economists and experts to recommend the best path to get to net zero. Macleans Magazine recently ran an article by Kathryn Hayhoe and Andrew Leach. An economist and a climate scientist. Their conclusion after examining the Liberal plan was, “No matter how you slice it, the Liberals have implemented this country’s first serious, national climate change plan, and they’re looking to build on it.”

This election is a choice for Canadians between Andrew Scheer’s non-plans on major issues, chief among them is climate change. Or as you just read, there is the Liberal team ready to serve for another 4 years with an ambitious climate plan, and strategies to make life better for Canadians. On October 21st Choose Forward.

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BYRON HORNER

Conservative Party of Canada

Byron Horner is the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the Courtenay-Alberni riding.

Out of control property crime, attacks on seniors, shootings and gang activity have become everyday events. Both Port Alberni and Courtenay have made top

10 lists of the most unsafe places to live in Canada. The “reported” Oceanside crime rate is up over 40%. I have personally knocked on 9,000+ doors and Islanders have told me they don’t feel safe in their homes – this is unacceptable.

As your MP in a Conservative government I will deliver real results to fight escalating crime in Courtenay-Alberni. The NDP and Greens are soft on crime and would legalize hard drugs as we fight the opioid crisis. What message would this send to young people?

Rehabilitation for offenders is critical but we need a balanced approach for citizens to feel safe again.

Conservatives will:

1. Mandate appropriate sentencing for repeat offenders who resist treatment and rehabilitation;

2. Make significant new investments in mental health and addiction treatment and recovery centres;

3. Provide RCMP with desperately needed equipment and resources.

We have a diverse riding and besides affordability, the environment and crime there are community-specific concerns:

Oceanside – Lack of Family Doctors and Medical Wait Times

A viable plan to attract doctors and nurse practitioners and to expedite the recognition of health care credentials of new Canadians will be my priority. Conservatives have committed increased public health care funding by 3%/year plus $1.5 billion for CT and MRI machines to reduce wait-times.

Courtenay – Fair Treatment for the 3,800 Veterans

Our Military Covenant will clear the backlog for Veteran’s Benefits within 24

months and guarantee every Veteran timely services.

Alberni Valley – Economic Development and Jobs

I would fight for funding to support the expansion of the Alberni port for shipping

and dry-dock services and to clean up contaminated soil on the waterfront that prevents development.

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SEAN WOOD

Green Party of Canada

Sean Wood is the Green Party of Canada candidate for the Courtenay-Alberni riding. Photo supplied.

Meeting the challenge of the climate crisis while making sure that people can make ends meet are key issues for the riding of Courtenay-Alberni. Canadians have said they consider Elizabeth May to be the most honest, ethical, hardworking federal party leader – they trust her actions to match her words. Honesty and ethical leadership are key to following through on election promises like those contained in the Green Party’s comprehensive, progressive platform (www.greenparty.ca/platform) that can keep us on track to meet our climate goals and improve affordability for all Canadians.

The decisions to be made by the next government of Canada will shape our future as a nation. We must embrace the dual challenge of responding to the climate crisis and strengthening the social contract with all citizens to ensure a secure, livable future for Canadians. Politics-as-usual is leading us down a path we simply cannot survive, and the Green Party is proposing a course change. We need to work together to meet these challenges and thrive.

As your Green Party candidate for the 2019 federal election, I want to make our country more secure and livable for everyone, and especially for our kids and grandkids. We need honest, ethical leaders who care about the people they serve and can work with other parties to tackle the climate crisis and make life more affordable for everyone. I will be an honest, hard-working representative who will fight for you to hold government accountable and make sure that we create a secure, livable future for the people of Courtenay-Alberni and Canada.

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BARBARA BILEY

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

Barbara Biley is the Courtenay-Alberni candidate for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada. Photo supplied

Barbara Biley chose not to submit an answer to this question.

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