An All Candidates Forum for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Riding was held in Barriere on Oct. 1, at the Fall Fair Hall, and was hosted by Barriere and Area Chamber of Commerce. Pictured (l-r) Ken Finlayson with Peoples Party of Canada, Cynthia Egli of the New Democratic Party, Iain Currie representing the Green Party, Terry Lake representing the Liberal Party, Cathy McLeod with the Conservative Party, and Peter Kerek representing the Communist Party. Margaret Houben photo:

Barriere Chamber hosts All Candidates Forum in their community

Barriere and Area Chamber of Commerce president Bill Kershaw opened the All Candidates Forum at the Fall Fair Hall on Oct. 1, and promptly turned the microphone over to District of Barriere Mayor Ward Stamer who moderated the rest of the evening. The event was sponsored by the Chamber and saw members of the public attend to meet the candidates in the upcoming October Federal Election and to hear what they had to say.

Candidates running in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Riding are; Animal Protection Party – Kira Cheeseborough, Communist – Peter Kerek, Conservative – Cathy McLeod, Green – Iain Currie, Liberal – Terry Lake, NDP – Cynthia Egli, and People’s Party of Canada – Ken Finlayson. Cheeseborough was unable to attend the Barriere event.

Each candidate was given three minutes to make opening statements.

Finlayson: “I feel good! I’m running for the fastest growing political party in Canada. We plan to scrap the carbon tax – while we do believe in global warming, we don’t believe that CO2 is the problem.”

Egli: “Affordability is a big part of our platform, as is universal health care that includes dental.”

Currie: “We’re focusing on three things – making this riding a leader in working towards a sustained environment and re-ingaging with the forestry sector; taking the urgent actions needed to combat the climate crisis; and making changes in Ottawa to make politics better.”

Lake: “I have worked hard for this valley during my years with the provincial government, and look forward to working for you at the federal level.”

McLeod: “I am greatly concerned about the increasing rural-urban divide. I plan to focus on making life more affordable.”

Kerek: “I stand in opposition to the exploitation of the working people of Canada. I support the democratic ownership of our resources.”

Question – to all candidates, “What strategy would you implement for seniors needing home-care, and what about paying family members who stay at home to care for a senior?

Finlayson: “Health care should be a provincial matter.”

Egli: “We plan to prioritize health care.”

Currie: “I do not have an offical answer; however, the Green Party is looking at a program to have young people helping seniors. Also, one of our platform items is implementing a guaranteed livable income.”

Lake: “The provincial government is in charge of health care, although the federal government does provide some funding.”

McLeod: “Health care is predominantly a provincial concern.”

Kerek: “The Communist Party supports meeting peoples needs where required.”

Question – to all candidates, “Bill C71, where do you stand on this and should the focus be on the law abiding citizens or the criminals?”

Kerek: “We support greater restrictions on guns.”

McLeod: “We would repeal C71.”

Lake: “We do not support taking guns from law abiding citizens or those in rural communities.”

Currie: “The regulations we currently have in place are sufficient. We need to deal with the root causes of crime.”

Egli: “I don’t believe we should be going after law abiding citizens.”

Finlayson: “We won’t take your guns.”

Question – to all candidates, “Back to the second half of question 1… for those staying home to care for a senior, what about a senior’s tax credit similar to the child tax credit?”

Lake: “To have a care-givers benefit is a worthy idea and I will add it to my platform.”

McLeod: “This is a good idea that could be added.”

Kerek: “This would take money to do, but we do support meeting people’s needs.”

Currie: “An excellent idea and would be at least partially covered under a guaranteed income plan.”

Egli: “The NDP have a head-to-toe health care on their platform. A senior’s tax credit is a great idea.”

Finlayson: “An excellent idea – we need to do this.”

Question – to all candidates, “What is your position on budgets?”

Currie: “The Green Party has put out a budget plan that balances the budget by the end of five years.”

Lake: “The gross GDP is steadily coming down.”

McLeod: “We need to be fiscally responsible. We plan to be back to a balanced budget in five years.”

Kerek: “We want to see wealth more equitably distributed. People are an investment, too.”

Finlayson: “We have pledge to balance the budge in two years. Charity begins at home.”

Egli: “People pay 20-25 per cent in taxes, while corporations pay only 16 per cent – this needs to change.”

Question – to Terry Lake, “What are you going to do about the softwood lumber tax?”

Lake: “The provincial government needs to be involved; the federal government needs to put money to infrastructure and look at fuel management.”

McLeod: “A new softwood lumber agreement needs to be negotiated, but this is a provincial matter, though the federal government does have a part to play.”

Kerek: “Trade agreements are the responsibility of the federal goverment. We need added value jobs.”

Finlayson: “President Trump is a brutal negotiator.”

Egli: “The NDP would replant more trees and don’t believe that logs should leave the country.”

Currie: “The federal government should be investing more in the forestry sector.”

Question – to Terry Lake, “Regarding human rights violations, why is the government continuing to under fund the indigenous communities?”

Lake: “Great progress has been made to correct this, and we need to continue to work toward completing the steps necessary.”

Currie: “We should provide the funding necessary to treat all citizens the same.”

Egli: “The NDP believes in treating all the same. The federal government has come a long way, but not far enough.”

Finlayson: “We need to get rid of the Indian Act.”

Kerek: “I agree with Ken, we do have institutional racism in Canada.”

McLeod: “We have too many barriers for indigenous communities to move forward.”

Question – to all candidates, “Health Care – what would you do to improve this?”

Finlayson: “We would work at getting a senior tax credit and turn the health care over to the provinces”

Egli: “Head-to-toe coverage that includes dental and vision care.”

Currie: “It’s not enough to just put money into the system, we also need to focus on preventative health care and also focus on mental health and de-criminalizing drugs.”

Lake: “The Canadian system is excellent for urgent care, but not so good for chronic issues. We need to target where the money we give to the provinces is to be used.”

McLeod: “We have done a lot to support research. We need to continue to support the doctors.”

Kerek: “Health care is a right, and no one should be making money off of it. Medicine is also a right.”

Question – to all candidates, “We need immigrants, but how can we improve the illegal immigration issue?”

Lake: “We have a legal obligation to allow entry to those fleeing oppression.”

McLeod: “Immigration is important, but we need to prioritize those entering the country.”

Kerek: “It is a relatively small number that are entering illegally. We need to be more compassionate about those leaving war torn countries.”

Currie: “There are problems with the current process; we need to start properly funding this, but we also need to be more humane and efficient.”

Egli: “We should be accountable, but also fair.”

Finlayson: “We need to be compassionate to true refugees.”

Question – to Terry Lake, “What is your view of the subsidy of $600 million to the media (TV/Telecom), and what is your position on CBC?”

Lake: “As fewer people are willing to pay for newspapers, they are relying on social media, which isn’t always reliable. I love CBC and believe it should be better funded.”

Currie: “It is wrong for the government to pick winners and looser in the media. The Green Party is looking into putting a tax on ads on social media. CBC does provide an important service.”

Egli: “I will pass on this question.”

Finlayson: “I don’t like CBC. The government doesn’t have the right to pick winners or loosers.”

Kerek: “The state of media is awful. It has become all about advertising. I would support fully funding CBC.”

McLeod: “The government is picking winners and losers, which is concerning.”

Question – to all candidates, “Climate change – what are the next steps and how can we deal with this in a meaningful way?”

Kerek: “It is here – human caused. We need to redirect our economies away from fossil fuels.”

McLeod: “We need to focus on technology and not taxes. We need to target the highest committers, but give them incentives to change. We need to take the fight global.”

Lake: “We are seeing the effects of climate change. We have to deal with this in a way that doesn’t adversely affect people. We plan to be net zero by 2050.”

Currie: “The science tells us that we need to deal with this quickly or we’ll reach a tipping point. By 2030 we have to cut emissions significantly.”

Egli: “We need to do something differently.”

Finlayson: “We believe climate is changes, and yes we are polluting too much, but we believe that CO2 is not the problem.”

Egli: “I’m in this for you.”

Finlayson: “While CO2 is not the problem, we still need to do something about all our pollution. Let’s get back to common sense and forget fear mongering.”

Please cast you vote in Canada’s Federal Election on Oct. 21, 2019.

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