10 Questions: Langley-Aldergrove candidates answer

See how six candidates responded to our questions this election

Read the full answers to our Langley Advance Times 10 Questions, as submitted by the candidates running to represent the Langley-Aldergrove riding:

Natalie DiPietra-Cudmore, PPC

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns?

No

2) Do you support a carbon tax?

No

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan?

No

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion?

No

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley?

No

6) Are immigration levels too high?

Yes

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder?

No

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament?

Yes

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs?

Yes

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes?

Yes. The People’s Party of Canada has already committed to reducing taxes. Our party commits to no income tax below $15,000 & from $15,000-$100,000 Canadians will pay 15% and then 25% for $100,000 and above. This structure will save each family over $2100 per year. We will also abolish capital gains tax, we will not tax Canadians on home gains, abolish the carbon tax and reduce taxation for small business owners and farmers from 15% to 10%. The people’s party of Canada will also stop giving corporate bailouts and sending money to foreign countries to build infrastructure or fund women’s health from Canadian’s tax dollars. We are committed to honouring Canadians by taxing fairly and using tax dollars responsibly.

Kaija Farstad, Green

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? YES

2) Do you support a carbon tax? YES

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? YES

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? YES

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? DON’T KNOW

6) Are immigration levels too high? NO

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? DON’T KNOW

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? YES

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? YES

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? DON’T KNOW

Leon Jensen, Liberal

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? NO. The Liberal platform is clear that we will only ban military style assault rifles and work with provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns. However, our platform also emphasizes that the key to keeping Canadians safe from gun violence is to ensure that the RCMP and the CBSA have the resources they need to stop the flow of illegal weapons at our borders. In addition we will seek to strengthen penalties for firearms smugglers. I have already had several conversations with both concerned gun owners and those citizens that are in favour of all out bans. I would like those discussions to continue as I believe all constituents need to be heard by their elected representative.

2) Do you support a carbon tax? YES. We will continue to lead our fight against climate change with a price on pollution. British Columbia has led the way with carbon pricing and it’s time for all Canadians to join the fight. It has been proven to help control our emissions despite our population growth. We have set a goal to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. We will set legally-binding five year milestones based on the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians to get there.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? YES. We plan to move forward with national universal pharmacare. In addition we will collaborate with the provinces and territories to make sure that every Canadian has access to a family doctor or primary health care team, that there are clear national standards for access to mental health services and we will continue to make home and palliative care more available across the country.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? NO. The majority of constituents that I have spoken to are in favour of proceeding with the pipeline. Any profits from the operation of the Trans Mountain pipeline, estimated at $500 million/year and any profit from the sale of the pipeline, will be invested in clean environment projects. It is my commitment to ensure that these investments will be clearly publicized to my constituents.

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? YES. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to stable predictable funding for national transit needs of $3 billion annually. I believe that it is my role as your Member of Parliament to work in support of the TransLink Mayors’ Council attaining their Regional Transportation Strategy. We have already invested significantly in the South of Fraser area with some $1.3 billion invested since 2015. Investments included new energy efficient buses and service route improvements.

6) Are immigration levels too high? NO. Canada is enriched by the many immigrants that have joined us, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. My family was one of those that came over in the 1950s to escape the shadow of the Soviet Union. My family has thrived in Canada and, in return, I was honoured to have served Canada as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Canada is one of the few places in the world where you can look around and see such a diverse culture living in harmony.

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? NO. While I have not studied it in any great detail I would have to question if it has actually ever been proven as a deterrent. In addition, there have been cases of individuals that have been exonerated of a severe crime after having originally been found guilty.

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? YES. In discussion with current members of Parliament it appears that we do not currently have mechanisms in place to allow for the replacement of Members that do not meet the expectations of their constituents. I would be interested in examining the system currently in place in Great Britain which has been utilized on several occasions since its inception.

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? YES. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to reducing cell phone costs in Canada by 25%. We host many foreign visitors and they are shocked by the rates we pay. Phone communication is vital in a country the size of ours. High cell phone costs penalize many groups such as low income and seniors. This is another way that the Liberal Party of Canada is making life affordable for Canadians.

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? YES. One of the first steps the Liberals took in 2015 was to reduce personal income taxes from 22% to 20.5% on income from about $45,000 to $90,000, saving families over $700 in taxes each year. Our platform for this election includes eliminating taxes on the first $15,000 of earnings, putting an additional $600 per year in working Canadians’ pockets. In addition, maternity and paternity benefits will be tax-free, childcare costs will be reduced by 10%. Old Age Security will be increased by 10% and Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Benefit will be increased by 25%.

Alex Joehl, Libertarian

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? NO

The Libertarian Party would make responsible gun ownership legal, starting with repealing section 91 and 92 of the criminal code and alter the current Possession and Acquisition Licenses to allow for concealed carry. Banning any sort of firearm will not keep it out of the hands of outlaws, so we need to stop turning law-abiding citizens into criminals. Canadians need to be free to defend themselves.

2) Do you support a carbon tax? NO

Carbon-pricing regulations hurt low income residents the most. The logic that it will alter buyer behavior is false, since Canadians still need to get to work and still need to heat our homes. Adding to those costs will leave less money in the pockets of the most vulnerable in society. There are real ways to protect our environment, but taxation is not one.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? NO

The Libertarian Party of Canada would repeal the Canada Health Act, finally making it legal to get the best health care you can obtain. While this wouldn’t directly affect pharmaceuticals, it all ties in with bloated bureaucracy and regulations that add unnecessary layers of costs to Canadians staying and getting well.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? NO

The issue here is property rights. While the Libertarian Party of Canada agrees that pipelines are currently the safest way to transport fossil fuels, companies that build the pipelines must negotiate a fair price for use of the land, whether it be an easement or purchase. By no means can the government expropriate land for this, or any use. Also, in the event of a leak, legal loopholes need to be removed so the company can be held financially and criminally accountable for the clean-up, down to the last dollar, and with tort reform citizen can receive compensation for damages done to their property, including our vulnerable water systems.

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? NO

6) Are immigration levels too high? NO

The government should not have arbitrary minimum or maximum levels of immigration. Instead, we should be focusing on setting newcomers up for success, making it easier for them to begin working. There is a labour shortage in many trades and adding qualified immigrants would help ease problem.

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? NO

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? YES

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? NO

The Libertarian Party of Canada would repeal the power of the CRTC. With real competition in the telecommunications market we would finally see mobile phone plans priced in line with other western nations. The government has no role in setting these prices, caps or floors.

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? YES

Taxation is the most simple and yet controversial issue for our party.

What is taxation? Coercive confiscation of your money, the fruits of your labour. Currently many Canadians have come to accept this as part of living in our society, and only bicker about what the money should be spent on.

If the government forces you hand over 100 per cent of the fruits of your labour, that is clearly slavery. At what point is taxation not slavery? 50% of your labour? 15%?

There are many vital purposes for government, including a strong military to defend our borders and a police and judicial system to uphold our laws. These will always need to be funded, and most Canadians agree. That’s why they can be funded voluntarily, because there are some programs that all Canadians truly value, but the moment they feel their dollars are being misspent they can withhold further contributions. It’s easy to support spending someone else’s money, as other parties eagerly advocate for. Let’s give the taxpayer influence back.

That is why the Libertarian Party of Canada would eliminate the income tax in favour for a voluntary tax to fund the essentials.

Keeping more of your own money will allow you and your family to thrive and support the causes you want – not the desires of career politicians and lobbyists.

Tako Van Popta, Conservative

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns?

No.

A Conservative government will go after criminals who use guns to commit crimes, not law-abiding citizens, honest firearms owners. Criminals do not register their firearms and will not comply with these new regulations. The new liberal plan also fails to tackle the problems head-on, namely, to focus on stopping the smuggling of guns across the border into our cities and the proliferation of gang-related activity. The Liberal Bill C-71 is a backdoor gun registry that treats law-abiding gun owners as criminals while ignoring the root causes of gun violence. The vast majority of firearm owners respect Canada’s gun laws.

Our focus will be on putting criminals that use and smuggle guns behind bars. We want to empower law enforcement and prosecutors to keep the public safe. We will do this by giving them the resources and support they need. A Conservative government will make it easier for prosecutors to identify gangs through changes to the Criminal Code, create tougher sentences for violent gang crime, and provide more support to keep young people from joining gangs. We will also strengthen our border enforcement to stop guns from being smuggled into Canada. Four in five of firearms used in violent crimes are using smuggled firearms. We will combat this.

2) Do you support a carbon tax?

No.

A Conservative government is committed to scrapping the carbon tax. Conservatives are committed to reducing carbon emissions, dealing with climate change, and being good stewards of the earth. In order to do this, we believe a more positive approach should be taken in Canada. We believe in Canadians. We believe in the ingenuity, industriousness, and innovation of Canadians.

Positive incentives are much more effective than negative incentives. The carbon tax is a negative incentive. It punishes people for their behavior—much of which is unavoidable. We have to get to work and heat our homes. Life is hard enough to get by without more taxes like the carbon tax. In order for the carbon tax to actually be effective, the independent Parliamentary Budgetary Office found that the carbon tax would have to be increased substantially with the price at the pumps jumping from four cents per liter to 31 cents. That will just make life even more unaffordable.

Conservatives have a plan—a real plan—with specific, realistic, and achievable policy commitments. Our plan will focus on innovation, cleaning up our environment, and taking the climate change fight global. Technology will be the key driver of change while diversifying our economy and developing new jobs. We will clean up our environment with a variety of measures such as reinforcing and reinstating protections and funding for our waterways and wetlands. We will export our technology and environmentally responsible energy products to help the world transition to greener economies.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan?

No.

This answer requires some interpretation because it depends on what the national pharmacare plan entails. Conservatives strongly believe that all Canadians deserve reasonable access to healthcare. We are strong supporters of our universal healthcare system. A substantial part of healthcare is pharmaceuticals and Canadians need access. The vast majority of Canadians currently have or qualify for a prescription drug plan. However, we understand that some Canadians struggle to afford their medications. We need to have a plan to address those that are falling through the cracks because by and large the system is working. If you already have good coverage at a very affordable rate, then a government plan would just get in the way. A new blanket program requires a larger bureaucracy and would be less efficient than our current system. This would mean substantially higher taxes when Canadians are having trouble enough getting by.

I would not support a national pharmacare plan as put forward by the NDP, Green Party or Liberals. We are still unveiling our platform and will have more to say on this later.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion?

No.

The TransMountain Expansion is the safest, cheapest, and most environmentally responsible way to get our energy resources to tidewater. The current project is to twin an already existing pipeline, a pipeline with a 50-year safety record. The ability for Canada to get our energy resources to market is an important part of Canada’s potential contribution to fighting climate change across the globe. Canada’s energy products have a rigorous environmental and labour standards. We will use these responsibly produced energy products to sell to the world to displace dirtier and more unethically made energy sources from other countries. Canada is a small player globally regarding carbon emissions, but we can help countries with large emissions reduce by using our energy products as a substitute. We can help other countries transition to a greener economy as we do the same.

The added benefit of the TMX is that it’s a project that helps a variety of communities in western Canada. The Natural Resource sector provides tens of thousands of jobs and brings economic development to many indigenous communities.

Alberta and Saskatchewan as a whole would benefit greatly from TMX. We are a federation of provinces and its important that we stand together and help our neighbours when they are in need. Prairie farmers are hurting because we can’t build pipelines and so petroleum products are being transported by rail instead of their agricultural goods. It’s not right to let our agriculture products rot. Let’s start working together again.

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the Skytrain extension as far as Langley?

Yes

If elected, I will fight for Skytrain to Langley and I will guarantee that Langley will get its fair share of infrastructure funding under a Conservative government. Introducing mass transit to Langley will benefit its residents, reduce congestion, and lower our carbon footprint. Its high time that Langley residents have reasonable mobility options to get downtown or to other parts of Metro Vancouver without requiring a personal vehicle.

6) Are immigration levels too high?

No.

We are a land of immigrants. I was raised in an immigrant family. Immigration is one of our strengths.

Andrew Scheer and Canada’s Conservatives will work immediately to restore the fairness, order, and compassion of our immigration system.

We will:

• Safeguard and emphasize economic immigration

• Stand up for families and ensure that spouses and children be reunited

• Improve language training

• Improve foreign credentials recognition

• Prioritize helping those facing persecution (four atrocity crimes: genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity)

• Encourage private sponsorship of refugees

• Put an end to illegal border crossings by closing the loophole in the Safe-Third Country agreement that allows queue jumping.

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder?

No

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament?

No

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs?

No.

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes?

Yes

When I’m knocking on doors and talking to people in this constituency, I hear that life is getting more unaffordable for many. People are just barely getting by and certainly not getting ahead. Andrew Scheer and Canada’s Conservatives will introduce a Universal Income Tax Cut by dropping the tax rate for the first $47,630 earned from 15% to 13.5% resulting in tax saving for the average Canadian family of $850 per year. That will be welcome relief for everyone. This will put money back in the hands of those who have worked so hard to earn it because money in the hands of those who earned is way better than in the hands of those who tax it.

Stacey Wakelin, NDP

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? Yes

2) Do you support a carbon tax? Yes

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? Yes

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? Yes

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? Yes

6) Are immigration levels too high? No

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? No

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? Yes

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? Yes

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? No

While this is not a NO in perpetuity, I do believe that taxation is a means to fund the services that Canadians rely upon and government should use responsibly. Tax cuts sound great to voters during elections and the parties that offer them seem the hero. Do we consider the austerity measures that could also become a reality? Pharmacare, a head-to-toe healthcare system and childcare, these are investments in the health of Canadians which will save government in costs to the system, productivity, etc.

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