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Question: First three important items upon arriving in Ottawa

Candidates, from left, Rick Stewart, Rob Morrison, Wayne Stetski, Abra Brynne, Robin Goldsbury and Trev Miller (see below story) have been busy travelling throughout the riding, visiting with the electorate prior to the upcoming Federal Election, set for Monday, October 21, 2019.

As the race for Kootenay Columbia seat in the House of Commons for heats up, The Nelson Daily will poll the candidates periodically with questions regarding the campaign.

The six candidates — Abra Brynne of the Green Party, Liberal candidate Robin Goldsbury, incumbent Wayne Stetski of the NDP, Rob Morrison of the Conservative Party, Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party of Canada and Rick Stewart of the People's Party of Canada — have been criss-crossing the riding looking for votes in the upcoming Federal Election, set for Monday, October 21, 2019.

Terry Tiessen of the Libertarian Party of Canada recently dropped out of the campaign.

Question for the Candidates:

If elected, what are the first three things you will do when you get to Ottawa that will benefit the riding of Kootenay Columbia?

Rob Morrison, Conservative Party

We need leadership and there is a lot of work to be done! A Conservative government will immediately go to work to make life more affordable for Kootenay Columbians. I will vote to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare handouts to wealthy executives, shareholder, and foreign companies and instead put money in Kootenay-Columbian pockets so they can get ahead.

I will ensure that our hardworking families have work. For example, we need to open a constructive dialogue with our neighbours to the south to address the softwood lumber dispute. I will actively defend the metallurgical coal families in the Elk Valley and work within government to rebuild a healthy O&G sector, which will have a direct impact on our riding. 

A Conservative government will protect small business and ensure that our country’s corporate (national and international) investments are re-introduced. These investments will provide billions in taxes that will support an accountable well-funded environment plan, tax benefits for individuals, infrastructure funding, health care and more.

Wayne Stetski, NDP

What three things would I do when I get to Ottawa, I would fight climate change by implementing the UN sustainability measures,establishing science-based targets in law – to hold global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees or less.  I'd work to address the housing and affordability crisis and push Ottawa to build half a million housing units to start. 

Finally I would complete the dream of Tommy Douglas with head to toe healthcare that covers dental care, and pharmaceuticals now, and hearing and eye care in the near future, because anything to do with our health should be covered by our health care card, not our credit card.

Rick Stewart, People’s Party of Canada

1. Eliminate the Carbon Tax and withdraw from all United Nation obligations that compromise Canada’s sovereignty and prosperity.

2. Declare the Energy east and other related pipeline projects in the “National Interest and to the General Advantage of Canada” as per section 92 (10) of the constitution to build our pipelines, end Canada’s reliance on foreign oil, and foster economic growth using Canadian Steel and labor.

3. Balance the budget, defund the CBC, and introduce stronger legislation to defend our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, end censorship and strengthen family unity and moral freedom.   

There are many other priorities that need to be addressed but the People’s Party believe the above three are a good start to bring real benefit to our riding of Kootenay-Columbia.

Robin Goldsbury, Liberal Party

1. Set up a Kootenay Vitality task force - an advisory committee - to address issues facing our amazing Kootenay Columbia Riding. Solutions to big city problems can fall flat here, but 'Rural is relevant’, our grassroots concerns are relevant and we deserve an effective, inclusive voice in Ottawa for all constituents.

This means collaboration - bringing together people from many perspectives from across our riding. The task force will include Kootenay Columbia citizens, a cross section of concerned people, volunteers, different political ideologies and all levels of government.

Working together we can solve our concerns by listening, with respectful dialog, and by sharing ideas. With ingenuity, action and strong leadership from your new member of parliament we will do better.

2.  Transparent, accessible and accountable. These are my absolute basic obligations to the people of Kootenay Columbia. I put my name forward because I believe I have the energy, capability and capacity for positive action in our riding. People who know me know I get things done.

Among my first tasks will be implementing digital technology for constituent communication and accessibility. I will set up systems that are transparent and open (including my spending). Setting benchmarks is part of the plan - actual goals - we would like to see accomplished on issues from the Columbia River Treaty, Softwood Lumber tariffs, healthcare, climate change and service levels, to economic development and issues like succession and staffing.

I expect to work hard to meet these obligations. With dedication, passion and spunk, I will do my utmost to work for you.

3. Go skating on the Rideau Canal. 

Abra Brynne, Kootenay Columbia Green Party

As MP, I will support the Green's all-party inner cabinet on climate change, and push hard for a science-based, immediate transition to a green economy. For Kootenay-Columbia, green transportation incentives and building retrofits will offer affordable access and new job opportunities.

I will work to honour our commitments to Reconciliation with Indigenous People as outlined in Green Party platform. This begins with listening with respect to social, economic, political and environmental concerns to find the best path forward together.

Electoral reform is mandatory if we believe that every vote matters. Greens will lower the voting age to 16 and launch a citizen’s assembly on electoral reform. I will get behind the legislative changes necessary to reform the way we vote in 2023.

Trev Miller, Animal Protection Party of Canada

The most pressing issue for Kootenay--Columbia is the same one facing the world – impending climate disaster.  I'll work with other parties and groups necessary to stop funding to ecologically unsustainable industries.  These subsidies, over $10 billion in 2018, will be necessary in supporting those employed by companies that are no longer competitive in the free market.  Removing funding to environmentally ruinous industries will provide funds necessary to begin basic income investment programs in support of all Canadians in coming years, as automation continues to perform its function of safely and efficiently replacing jobs.

The Animal Protection Party of Canada, with 17 candidates running across the country this year, is the only group with a plan more comprehensive than "build more electric charging stations."  The financial support comes from removing money we're paying industries that damage the environment, animals, and people.  The restructuring of these subsidies will allow reinvestment in our most robust resource – people.  This is also the only way we'll achieve our Paris Agreement carbon emissions target.

Personal change is climate change.  Each of us can examine choices we're making to see if they're ecologically sustainable or if they're harmful.  It takes 1800L of water and releases 16 lbs of carbon into the atmosphere for one pound of beef – corn is under one twentieth of that impact.  Anyone organizing an event, it would be good to try to move away from single-use items and introduce plant-based meals, the latter resulting in a 96 percent reduction in environmental impact.

If we're going to leave a planet for future generations, we need systemic change now.  Thank you!

Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party of Canada.