How did Cloverdale-Langley City candidates answer our 10 Questions?

Langley Advance Times 10 Questions: Cloverdale-Langley City

We asked all the federal candidates 10 questions.

John Aldag, Liberal Party

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? NO. A Liberal government will address increasing gun crime as we have seen in our communities by banning all military-style assault rifles including the AR-15 and implement a buy-back program for all military-style assault rifles legally purchased in Canada, and giving provinces and municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns. As importantly, we will continue to fight gang-related violence by financially supporting municipalities to meet the needs of communities at risk. We will make sure the Canada Border Services Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police have the resources they need to stop the flow of weapons at our borders. And we will strengthen penalties for people seeking to smuggle firearms into Canada.

2) Do you support a carbon tax? YES. Research indicates that carbon taxes are the most efficient and effective way to address climate change while having the least negative impact on the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The House of Commons Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, which I was part of for the past 4 years and chaired for the past year, heard this testimony from several experts. A federal backstop for the carbon tax is one piece of a Liberal commitment to addressing climate change. This backstop creates a level playing field for responsible provinces like BC by ensuring all jurisdictions put a price on carbon. The Conservatives are irresponsibly misleading British Columbians by saying they will eliminate the carbon tax – the federal backstop does not apply in BC. A Conservative government will not save Canadians money and will not address climate change.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? YES. The Liberal government laid the foundation for a national pharmacare program during our last term in office and will be able to take the next critical steps to implement national universal pharmacare so that all Canadians have the drug coverage needed at an affordable price.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? NO. The Liberal Party of Canada has an aggressive plan to achieve a net-zero emission future by 2050. This means carbon emissions are completely offset by other actions that remove carbon from the atmosphere so that Canadians do not add additional carbon that contributes to global warming. A Liberal government will set legally binding five-year milestones to reach net-zero emissions and exceed Canada’s 2030 emissions goal by introducing new carbon reducing measures. These actions will be done responsibly so that the economy is not negatively affected but instead can continue to grow through research and innovation. Any profits from the operation of the Trans Mountain pipeline, estimated at $500 million/year, as well as any profit from the sale of the pipeline, will be invested in natural climate solutions and clean energy projects that will power our homes, businesses and communities for generations to come.

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? YES. In 2015, our government dedicated $20 billion to transit improvements in Canada, and our South of the Fraser area benefited from $1.3 billion of this investment. These funds bought new energy efficient buses, saw improvements to service routes, and committed $650 million to rapid-transit expansion in our region such as SkyTrain. This investment brought both the province and TransLink to the table to expand transit. The Mayors’ Council and TransLink have subsequently requested approximately $350 million/year to implement the region’s 10-year plan including SkyTrain to Langley. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed $3 billion/year to ongoing transit improvements in Canada. With this commitment, SkyTrain to Langley will become a reality.

6) Are immigration levels too high? NO. In the past 4 years, Canadian businesses have responded to our Liberal economic policies and created more than 1,000,000 jobs. Canada has the lowest unemployment rate that we have seen since the 1970s, compared to the previous Conservative government that had the slowest economic growth rates since the Great Depression. In many regions, the death rate exceeds the birth rate. We have an aging population that is living longer. In short, we need workers and immigration is an important way of adding employees to our workforce. Our government also reduced wait times for the family-reunification stream and shortened the processing times for foreign spouses to come to Canada. Canada is a country built on immigration and our support for immigration is necessary to support continued prosperity.

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? NO. The reference to “murder” raises an important question that I believe all candidates should answer, and that is their position on both abortion and medical assistance in dying. I believe that every female should have control over her reproductive rights including whether or not to pursue an abortion, unlike my Conservative competitor who has publicly stated that Canada needs an abortion law. I believe that abortion laws will not reduce abortions but instead will see the lives of women and girls compromised in back alleys as they seek to control decisions over their bodies, as any legal restriction will make this medical procedure less safe. I believe every Canadian should be able to be in control of their own end-of-life decisions, compared to my Conservative competitor who led protests outside my constituency office and at town halls on medical assistance in dying to limit, if not eliminate, Canadians’ rights to control their own end of life decisions. And I believe Canadians need to support born children for success as our government has done through the tax-free and indexed Canada Child Benefit as well as support for anyone facing a terminal illness through support for hospice services. I conclude by noting I have never had the issue of reinstatement of capital punishment raised by constituents and rarely hear about abortion or medical assistance in dying. That is why I will continue to focus on issues that are important to my constituents such as affordability, transit, climate change and community safety.

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? YES. Elections are one way to hold elected officials accountable, and these happen on a regular basis in an established democracy like Canada. That being said, if an elected official is so removed from his or her constituents that a recall petition is triggered, then this accountability measure should be allowed.

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? YES. Canadians pay some of the highest prices for cell phone service in the world. Our Liberal Party of Canada has committed to reducing cell phone costs in Canada by 25% which would save an average family of four up to $1,000/year.

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? YES. In 2015, our first action 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. We have committed to eliminating taxes on the first $15,000 of earnings, putting an immediate $600/year in working Canadians’ pockets. In addition, we will make maternity and paternity benefits tax-free, to financially help anyone starting or growing their families. We will reduce childcare costs by 10%. For seniors, we will increase Old Age Security by 10% and increase the Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Benefit by 25%. A Liberal government will put more money in the hands of Canadians including our families and seniors.

Rae Banwarie, NDP

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? I believe that the provinces and cities should have final say in this. There are law abiding gun owners that own and possess handguns and they do not commit crimes. This should not be a yes or no answer as there are other factors which must be considered. I have yet to learn of a law abiding gun owner that decided to use his gun in the commission of crimes or go on a shooting rampage in Canada. That happens in the US because of their very lax gun laws if any at all. Like Texas where there is an open carry law.

2) Do you support a carbon tax? Yes

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? Yes. The NDP has the only comprehensive Pharmacare program.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? Yes. We need to respect First Nations rights to their lands and work with them not against them by using the public purse to take them to court.

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 and regulated fuel prices.

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

Ian Kennedy, People’s Party of Canada

1) Do you support a ban on semi-automatic rifles or handguns? No. The issue is with illegal guns being brought on through our ports of entry, whether it is the border between the USA or sea ports, like the one in Vancouver. We need to clamp down on the gangs and the violence that they bring. Gun owners are exceptionally law abiding and the most highly vetted segment in the Canadian population, and rightfully so. The current firearms legislation unfairly targets them and does not respect their property rights and is highly arbitrary. Canada’s firearms legislation must protect society from the criminal misuse of firearms and prioritize the deterrence and punishment of criminals. Legal firearms owners deserve a legal framework that protects their property rights and treats them with fairness and respect. We need a common sense approach to gun control that promotes safety while removing the threat of arbitrary criminal prosecution.

If we are elected as government, we will replace the Firearms Act and supporting legislation with new legislation that will prioritize effective measures to improve public safety and fight crime in Canada. We will require that all firearms categories are based on function, not on looks or arbitrary political whims, and remove ineffective restrictions which unfairly target sport shooters, but have no deterrent effect on criminals. We will mandate that all future changes to firearms regulation be completed through Parliament only. This means that neither the RCMP nor the cabinet will be able to move the legal goalposts for legal firearms owners without the approval of Parliament.

2) Do you support a carbon tax? No. Although if the provincial government wants to have a carbon tax province wide, they must do as they feel best for the province and the PPC will never interfere with provincial rights. The constitution is very important to us and we will follow every word in the constitution. Federally, we will abolish the carbon tax. I believe in less taxes for Canadians and not for the government redistributing the tax money as they see fit. People should have this money in their pocket to spend it as they see fit, not the government. Trudeau believes it is ok to pollute, such as using two campaign airplanes, as long as people pay for it. I believe in personal responsibility, and that all Canadians can help out the environment in their own way, such as consuming less garbage and plastics, and keeping waste down to a minimum. Canadians are smart and innovative, I believe that Canadians will innovate and bring in better technology so that we can treat our planet better. Although I do not believe we are in a human caused climate crisis, or that we should panic over our planetary cycles, I do believe we all should be better stewards of our planet.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan? No. We need to have a fiscally responsible government in place and balance the budget before we consider a national pharmacare plan. Also, a national pharmacist plan would increase dependency on the drugs that the large companies, such as Purdue Pharma creates. In light of the Purdue Pharma lawsuits over the opioid epidemic, we need to be careful about taking too many pills and drugs. I personally do not want anyone to be dependent on opioids to get through the pain that they are dealing with. I would rather create an atmosphere for Canadians to innovate and find other methods for pain relief instead of being more dependent on taking pills every day. Only the PPC can do with our tax plan to cut all taxes to a flat 10% rate from the current 15% rate and all the little things that the Trudeau government brought in that make things more difficult for most business’s.

4) Would you vote to cancel the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion? No. We need to keep our jobs and careers in Canada as we move away from using fossil fuels to different forms of energy. We do not currently have an affordable and sustainable plan to move away from the use of fossil fuels. The current government has to hand out subsidies to use alternate sources of energy because it is too expensive for Canadians to buy without them. Even with the subsidies it is too expensive for most Canadians. Despite the emergence of these alternative sources of energy, global demand for oil is expected to keep riding for several decades. Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world and is well placed to answer this demand. If this oil does not come from Alberta and Saskatchewan, it will come from countries with poor environmental or human rights standards such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. If it is not transported by pipelines, it will be transported by rail. This is a much pre dangerous method for both the environment and Canadians as we saw with the Mac-Mégantic tragedy. We will find a private buyer of the pipeline that will use state of the art technology to ensure that the pipeline is the safest possible method to transport this oil. We need to grow this industry for employment, government revenue, and economic well being for the prosperity of Canada.

5) Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley? Maybe. We need to to it so that the negatives, such as the homelessness issue around skytrain stations are brought to a minimum. The homelessness issue in Langley needs to be addressed before we can put a skytrain through Langley, otherwise it will only get worse. We need to solve the housing crisis through reducing demand by reducing immigration first. We need to put more money in peoples pockets so that Canadians are not barely scraping by paycheck to paycheck. On the flip side, it is not fair for people to spend three hours a day commuting to and from work. We need a better solution that will ease this burden on families. If the skytrain will bring more homelessness to the Langley, what other ways can we reduce the burden of commuting for hours in a day. I will commit to bringing up the skytrain issue in Ottawa as long as we look at both sides and do what is best for the people of Langley.

6) Are immigration levels too high? Yes. Immigration levels are too high and it is putting a huge strain on Canadian society. Canada is taking in more immigrants than almost any other country. Some political parties are using mass immigration as a political tool to buy votes among the immigration community. We need to keep the amount of economic immigrants coming in, which is at 26% of all current immigrants of the 350 000 that we currently accept in a year. That is 91 000 a year. We need to keep these immigrants coming and allow their families to immigrate with them to Canada to keep the burden down and make it easier for all immigrants to integrate themselves into our society. We need to lower immigration to around 150 000 a year. This will be on par to how many immigrants other countries are accepting on a per capita level. While we need to ensure that all immigrants and refugees go through our ports of entry, instead of jumping the border, we also need to bring in refugees that are being persecuted in their country of origin. Our current system is being abused by false refugees, this needs to end. This is why it is so important to go through the proper channels. We also need to change the law so that birth tourism is illegal so that people cannot become a Canadian citizen without Canada understanding who these people are.

7) Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder? No. We need to have more mental health support which is unfortunately a provincial jurisdiction. We need to ensure that each community has the sufficient means to ensure each member of the community feels loved, welcome and safe. That is something that a PPC government will do.

8) Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament? Yes. It is important to hold all MP’s accountable for their actions, as with everyone in our society. I will always be accountable for my actions, I expect to hear from my constituents and for everyone to tell me how they feel. If I am not doing a good job representing you, recall legislation will not be necessary as I will step down. I plan on being transparent through all my decisions so that you are able to hold me accountable. The PPC is the only party for the people, and I will do what is best for you.

9) Should the government cap cellphone plan costs? No. We need to get rid of the CRTC to allow more competition and let the people decide for themselves which cellphone plan is best for them through competition. This alone will lower prices as the cellphone companies actually have to do what is best for the Canadians instead of themselves. Canada has the highest prices for cellphone plans across the world because we have a committee in charge of the pricing for the big three phone companies. Creating subsidies and legislation does not fix the problem, it is merely a band aid that covers up the real core of the issue. A PPC government will create more competition in all aspects of the market and allow Canadians to decide for themselves instead of keeping the barriers up that foster a closed market. We need a free market, not more barriers. Thank you to all readers who have read this article and my answers, the PPC is based on principles and will only make promises that we will keep, making all Canadians lives better through our principles and morals.

10) Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes? Yes. The PPC will put more money in your pockets. We were among the first party to promise lower income taxes. We will eliminate all taxes for the first $15 000 earned, saving each Canadian $529. For the $55 000 tax bracket, each Canadian will save $1063. For the $75 000 tax bracket, each Canadian will save $2163. This will out more money in your pockets. However, we need to do this smartly and cut the deficit down completely, which only the PPC is willing and to do. We will only make promises that we can keep. We will cut foreign development aid (and still have a humanitarian presence to help out where we can), cut all corporate subsidies creating an even playing field for all business’s at the same time, cut equalization payments while fostering economic growth in the “have not” provinces, and more. This will cut more than $16 billion. We will still balance the budget while we save you money so that you can spend it on what you want, instead of the government giving you more subsidies on what they want. We will stop using our tax system for political ends and make it simpler and more fair. In particular, it will eliminate targeted tax measures that are inefficient and serve no compelling public policy purpose. Over the course of one mandate, we will gradually abolish the personal capital gains tax by decreasing the inclusion rate from he current 50% down to 0%.

Tamara Jansen, Conservative Party

Q1 – Do you support a ban on semi-automatic guns or handguns?

No

Additional comments:

Liberal gun control efforts only target law-abiding citizens. Criminals don’t register their guns, or respect bans. Our Conservative plan has the courage to get tough on criminals and gangs, and fight real problems like gun smuggling. We will empower law enforcement to take the action they need to stop it.

Q2 – Do you support a carbon tax?

No

Additional comments:

All the carbon tax does is make life less affordable for British Columbians, without helping the environment. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says for a carbon tax to be effective, it would need to increase fuel by 31 cents per litre. A good plan will help the environment without driving household costs through the roof.

Q3 – Would you vote for a national pharmacare program?

No

Additional comments:

Unfortunately many on the left are promoting a plan that is nothing more than a slogan. Would a “national pharmacare program” mean millions of Canadians would lose their private insurance through work? And why would the wealthiest Canadians benefit the same way as those who are not able to currently afford prescriptions? I would prefer targeted help for those most in need.

Q4 – Would you cancel the Transmountain oil pipeline expansion?

No

Additional comments:

Pipelines are the safest, most efficient and environmentally responsible way to get our natural resources to market.

Now that the Liberal government has spent taxpayer dollars and bought the pipeline, we can’t let those billions go to waste.

Q5 – Should the federal government commit to funding the SkyTrain extension as far as Langley?

Yes

Additional comments:

This is a high priority for our municipal leadership, so it needs to be a high priority for MPs who represent one of the largest metro areas in Canada. As MP I will fight for predictable and stable funding for mass transit, including the SkyTrain expansion.

Q6 – Are immigration levels too high?

No

Additional comments:

Immigration is central to Canada’s DNA. It keeps our economy ticking, and our social fabric strong. Without immigration, we wouldn’t have the necessary workers to replace those who are retiring.

We need to restore fairness, order and compassion to the system.

Q7 – Should the death penalty be reinstated for murder?

No

Q8 – Do you support recall legislation for Members of Parliament?

– No

Q9 – Should the government cap cellphone plan costs?

Q10 – Would you vote to reduce personal income taxes?

Yes

Additional comments:

I absolutely support lower taxes. Families are working harder, but it’s getting more difficult to make ends meet. Our Conservative platform offers tax breaks that will help reduce costs for families. The Universal Tax Cut will save most taxpayers hundreds of dollars every year. Sports and arts tax credits will help make hockey registration and music lessons more affordable. And our Green Tax Credit for Public Transit will help commuters save on their daily routine.

These are practical things we are proposing as Conservatives, and they will help make life more affordable for families in Cloverdale-Langley City.

Caelum Nutbrown, Green Party

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

Yes

2) Do you support a carbon tax?

Yes – We need drastic changes to our energy sector and the working Canadians in that sector need to be supported. Those who profited off the polluting of the planet will have subsides ended for them and increase in taxes for the on going harm they profit from.

3) Would you vote for a national pharmacare plan?

Yes – While supporting a Universal Basic Income, national daycare program, free tuition and 10 billion investment in post secondaries, and a fair and just transition for oil and gas workers.

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

Yes – Focus our efforts on climate adaptation for our communities and climate damage mitigation. We can not afford to waste time building a pipeline we will have to decommission in the near future.

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

Yes – and rapidly improving existing infrastructure for and around our community. Greens believe that public transportation will play a key role in emissions reductions to meet our goals. Reliable and consistent public transit should be a right for all Canadians.

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?

Yes – I would also help propose reforming our tax system to a more progressive one. That means closing illegal and legal ways for wealthy individuals and corporations to skip out on taxes. Thus helping us to pay for Ending Poverty, free tuition, and a national daycare program for example. All these programs are investments in our middle class and end up paying for themselves over time.

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