What will you do specifically for rural communities?
I will champion rural community services like postal banking and work to expand the availability of timely and accessible public transit. I will fight to bring in rural economic development agencies and invest in job creation in tourism and community development.
How do you plan to prepare our rural communities for future wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters?
As MP I will work to deliver on Jagmeet Singh’s commitment of $3 billion over four years to help our communities respond to disasters and support them in building climate resilience infrastructure. This fund could be used to provide immediate disaster relief funds for families, rebuild burned communities and invest in climate resilience infrastructure.
How will you ensure health care specialists are available locally to rural residents?
Instead of making sure Canadians have better access to health care, Liberals and Conservatives have spent years cutting the services Canadians need most. With shortages in all health care occupations, we’d increase funding for training and improve credential recognition standards to get more professionals and workers on the job.
How will you address issues with childcare in rural areas?
With small businesses increasingly desperate to recruit and retain workers, access to quality childcare is critical. I will work with all levels of government, Indigenous communities and childcare providers to make sure we create more local, affordable child care spaces.
How will you ensure affordable housing in rural communities, especially for seniors and those on fixed incomes?
Canada has the fastest growth in housing prices of all the G7 countries. A Jagmeet Singh NDP government is committed to building 500,000 units of truly affordable housing. As your MP, I would fight hard to bring our fair share to this region. Our plan also provides assistance and security for renters.
What do you intend to do to get people back to work during and after COVID-19?
Jagmeet Singh has brought forward short- and long-term plans to get people working and strengthen small businesses. To get people back to work, we’d put in place a long-term hiring bonus to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired staff. To help small businesses afford and offer more attractive wages, we’d save them money by capping credit card and virtual transaction merchant fees at a maximum of one per cent. And we’d roll back corporate taxes to their 2010 levels of 18 per cent. Over the long term, our plan includes the creation of a million new jobs in clean-energy sectors.
What commitments will you make to addressing climate change locally and nation wide?
My commitment is to work to reduce Canada’s emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. We need to reach net-zero by 2050; this target is non-negotiable, and it means we need to act. Additionally, accountability on climate action is essential, especially after we’ve seen Justin Trudeau promise to lower emissions but then raise them by 3.3 per cent. That’s why an NDP government will create a Climate Accountability Office to provide independent oversight of our progress on tackling the climate crisis.
How will you address Truth and Reconciliation with First Nations?
I am committed to fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. We will also work with Indigenous peoples to co-develop a National Action Plan for Reconciliation and establish a National Council for Reconciliation to provide accountability for the Reconciliation process. And finally, Jagmeet Singh has committed to finding every child by fully funding the search for gravesites at former residential schools.
In the North Thompson, what are your plans regarding bringing natural gas into the corridor?
It is vital that we respect the natural resource development process and engage in meaningful and genuine community and Indigenous engagement.
What will you do to remove inter-provincial trade ticketing barriers?
When it comes to mandatory trades certification, there is still significant inconsistency from province to province. For example, Ontario’s certification program covers 23 trades, while BC’s new program just 10. So to improve the mobility of skilled tradespeople, I would advocate for the federal government to work with provinces to expand the trades covered and bring consistency of applicable trades from one province to the next.