Saltair residents in the riding who haven’t voted by mail or at an advance poll can do so in person at the Saltair Community Centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Sept. 20.
The community falls within the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding and there are five candidates in the running. Here’s an account from each of them of what their priorities will be, if elected.
Lisa Marie Barron, New Democratic Party
“First and foremost, we are in a climate crisis. Too many of our community’s most vulnerable are the first impacted in this climate emergency. I want Canada to be a world leader on climate action, right now we are not. An NDP government will fulfill Canada’s G-20 commitment to eliminate these fossil fuel subsidies and redirect those funds to low-carbon initiatives. Climate action needs to be tied to reconciliation. Jagmeet Singh has committed $500 million to support Indigenous-led stewardship programs to advance reconciliation and protect the land, water and forests, including old growth. It’s time we had a government that took reconciliation seriously and implemented every one of the 94 calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including clean drinking water for all communities.
“And, finally, people are telling me that it is getting too expensive to live here, we are facing an affordability crisis and I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve struggled to make ends meet, trying to afford my family’s dental care, rent and groceries. People need relief now, especially after this pandemic. That’s why the NDP has been fighting for head-to-toe healthcare. Universal public pharmacare will extend coverage to everyone in Canada. Families will save an average of $550 per year. An NDP government will also put in a 20 per cent foreign buyers’ tax to tackle money laundering in the housing market while building 500,000 new affordable homes. New Democrats will remove interest from federal student loans – government should not be profiting off the backs of students.”
Michelle Corfield, Liberal Party of Canada
“I have been raised and educated here during my life, raised two kids who went to school here and have chosen to work here. This has given me a perspective of watching how Nanaimo-Ladysmith has grown in the past 50 years. We are at a critical point where we have an increase in seniors who need the health infrastructure here, not Victoria or Vancouver. We have a severe homeless and addictions problem in our city core – we need solutions. Just in the past 15 years, Nanaimo-Ladysmith has not had a results-driven MP with the sitting government that has effectively represented the constituents in Ottawa. The voters, and quite honestly, the eligible voters who have not voted in past elections, have chosen MPs who don’t have any political influence to ensure Nanaimo-Ladysmith receives its fair share of capital investments, promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.
“In my practice, I am already called upon by all levels of government and organizations as an area expert for environmental issues, specifically the Environmental Assessment Act and the Fisheries Act. As a Nuu-chah-nulth woman and educated candidate, I am responsible for ensuring the environment is sustainable for future generations. ‘Heshook-ish Tsawalk’ are principles I live by in my work and life and must be incorporated in all climate change advocacy.”
Tamara Kronis, Conservative Party of Canada
“Over the course of the pandemic, millions of Canadians lost their jobs. We have a jobs action plan to help those hardest hit and we will also give small businesses the support they need to get back on their feet. Health care is imperative. We will invest another $60 billion over 10 years in health transfers to the provinces. Mental health is at the forefront and will address the mental health crisis by recognizing that mental health is health and making historic investments to help those in need. To help those struggling with addiction and save lives, we will invest $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.
“For the environment, we have a serious plan to combat climate change that allows us to meet our targets and reduce emissions by 2030 as well as investing an additional $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions focused on management of forest, crop and grazing lands and restoration of grasslands, wetlands, and forests. Instead of sending your money to Ottawa, Low Carbon Savings Accounts help Canadians make greener lifestyle choices, while allowing them to decide what works best for them and their family. We are the only party with a plan to secure our environment, secure jobs, and secure our future.”
Paul Manly, Green Party of Canada
“Currently, housing affordability and increasing homelessness are very pressing concerns in our community. We’re losing affordable housing units faster than we can build them. We need stronger regulation to end predatory investment practices that are driving up home prices and rents. Local businesses need continued support as we recover from the pandemic. I will be advocating on their behalf, as I have been since the beginning. I’m also calling for a wealth tax because it’s time the ultra-wealthy and big corporations paid their fair share.
I was blowing the whistle on poor conditions in long-term care even before the pandemic. We must have national standards to guarantee residents receive the care they deserve. We also need to complete our health-care system. That means implementing universal pharmacare and dental care. It also means ensuring that everyone has access to mental health care.”
Stephen Welton, People’s Party of Canada
“I am concerned for the future of this country given the rapid shifts we’ve seen in the last few years to leftism and the authoritarianism that accompanies extreme ideologies. I believe we desperately need to return closer to the political centre by reviving conservative values of fiscal responsibility and respect for our Charter rights and freedoms. I am proud of the career I had cleaning up contaminated sites and helping industry become greener and safer, and of my personal life as a father, but now it is time to take my decades of work and life experience and apply it to helping rebuild this country’s pride and prosperity.
“The PPC will ensure vaccination remains a voluntary choice and vaccine passports will not be allowed. We will roll back carbon taxes and make sure environmental initiatives are rational and effective without unfairly penalizing working Canadians. We will reaffirm free speech and not allow censorship. We will balance the budget and divert from the great reset. I will speak up in the House of Commons for the people of Nanaimo-Ladysmith to ensure respect for taxpayers and fairness to a riding that has been woefully ignored by Ottawa.”