How Would Political Candidates Provide a Voice for Northern B.C.?
Prince George, B.C. – Starting today, 250 News takes a look at where the candidates in Cariboo-Prince George and Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies stand on a series of issues facing their ridings.
All candidates chose to participate with the exception of Conservative incumbent Bob Zimmer and NDP challenger Kathi Dickie in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding.
Each day for the next two weeks, 250 News will pose one question to each candidate along with their accompanying answers (in alphabetical order).
Today’s question is as follows: If elected, how will you provide a voice for this region?
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies:
Elizabeth Biggar, The Green Party: I would provide a voice by listening to the people first. I will make myself available at all times and hold many round table discussions with all levels of governments from municipal to First Nations, different groups and organizations so that I am able to understand what the people want from all levels of community.
Todd Keller, Libertarian Party of Canada: If elected I will go to Ottawa and scream my head off for sound money policies and for government to stay out of the resource sector, let the workers work! (think Nigel Farage in European Parliament as an example of my style)
Matt Shaw, Liberal Party: I think being present would be a great start – something Prince George hasn’t had for quite some time. One of my main motives for entering politics is that I feel that politicians are so busy, in general, furthering their careers, trying to get re-elected, and climbing the party ladder that they often become disconnected with the people they are supposed to represent. I pledge actually to do what politicians are supposed to do. When not in Ottawa, I will be vigorously engaged with the people in all parts of my riding, listening to them, assisting them, and learning from them. My top priority, perhaps one may call it a mission statement, is to make sure, above all else, that the North’s concerns are heard in Ottawa, and that my region gets every benefit it deserves from the Canadian federation. Also, I will be completely accessible to my constituents. My door will always be open, and I will always be there to help any way I can.
Tracy Calogheros, Liberal Party: Part of what attracts me to the Liberal Party is its willingness to listen to divergent views, its desire to start from a place of common goals and then work towards the best solution regardless of where the idea originates. In my view, that is the role of government, to facilitate consensus as we work together towards a better future. I will be available to constituents, open to new ideas and old ones, and will continue my efforts to grow this region by first discovering what this region wants and needs. We cannot fault Ottawa for making decisions without us if we do not participate in the discussion. I want to join that discussion knowing that the entire region is on the same page; we are far harder to ignore if we can’t be played off against one another. The only way to ensure that we are a cohesive group is to work together collegially, talk to each other honestly, work through disagreements calmly as we push towards a common goal. In my view, our common goal is a better tomorrow, a stronger region measured on a triple bottom line: Social, Ecological and Financial.
Sheldon Clare, Independent: As an independent member of parliament, my presence will ensure that this riding cannot be taken for granted, and that anyone seeking election here would have to work for the privilege of being this area’s MP. I believe making flexible coalitions with other MPS will help to achieve the goals of Cariboo-Prince George.
Adam De Kroon, Christian Heritage Party: I will provide a voice for this region by making sure the voices of my constituents are heard loud and clear in parliament, and that the interests of parties or other entities won’t override that. CHP policy is that “party loyalty must take back seat to serving the electorate, who have placed MPs in position.” As MP I would maintain a strong connection with the communities in my riding and listen to their input on issues that affect our nation and region.
Trent Derrick, NDP: I have lived in the riding for 32 years and in Prince George for the past 22 years. I have my family and 2 businesses in Prince George. I know our region. I know the difficulties facing small business, workers, youth, our seniors and people in general in our region. I am hard working, resourceful and I do not give up easily. The first step is listening and the second is acting on concerns. I will be a strong voice and I will work hard to address your concerns and the concerns of our region. If you elect me, my goal is to be the hardest working MP and one that best represents constituents.
Todd Doherty, Conservative Party: If elected, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing since September 2014 – meeting with community groups and residents of our ridings, listening to their concerns, and bringing them up in caucus meetings and in Parliament. I have broad experience building this community up, whether it was during my time at the airport, with the Canada Winter Games, or as a volunteer in our community.
The biggest concern I hear about is the economy. People want to know that government isn’t going to get in the way of job creation, and economic stimulus. That’s why, in the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement, he set a plan to lower taxes on job-creating small businesses. A Conservative government would lower the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent over the next four years. This is the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in more than 25 years and will provide $2.7 billion in tax relief to nearly 700, 000 small businesses over this period. The Conservatives are on the side of small businesses and our low-tax plan is helping them to succeed and grow, we know that they represent almost 99 percent of all businesses in the country and employ nearly 70 percent of all Canadians working in the private sector.
Richard Jacques, Green Party: I would be an active participant in the parliamentary process and carry forward the wishes and opinions of my constituents to Ottawa with confidence and integrity.
Tomorrow’s question: What do you think should be done to address the Syrian refugee crisis?