Cloverdale-Langley City candidates respond to 20 questions from the Langley Advance

20 Questions: Cloverdale-Langley City

Candidates from our new federal riding answered our questions on a wide variety of topics.

  • Oct. 8, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Every election, the Langley Advance asks a series of questions of our local candidates, asking for yes, no, or don’t know answers.

Below are the answers from each of our federal candidates in the Cloverdale-Langley City riding, as we received them, including expanded answers and answers other than yes or no. We have also included the exact directions we gave to each candidate on how to answer the questions.

Check back next week to see the same questions answered by our Langley-Aldergrove candidates.

The instructions:

Dear candidates,

Our readers have told us that it is important to them to have a straight-forward reference to help them orient themselves within the range of candidate choices open to them.

To that end, we would ask that you provide a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ response to EACH of the questions (except for the un-numbered questions about local residence and party membership).

Any responses left blank or answered with anything other than ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ will be left blank.

Candidates can give expanded answers to ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 250 words). However, only three expanded answers per candidate will be published in the paper due to space limitations; please indicate clearly which three answers you want to see in print.

Please note that all expanded answers will be published online.

Please return your answers via email by OCT. 5.

The candidate answers are presented in alphabetical order:

John Aldag

How long have you lived in your riding? 10 years South of the Fraser

How long have you been a member of the federal party you represent? 2 years

1. Will Langley business benefit from Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Don’t know.  The Liberal Party of Canada supports free trade agreements like the TPP because they create jobs for Canadians and contribute to economic growth and long-term prosperity across the country.  The issue with TPP specifically is that we don’t have the details so can’t comment on what the potential benefits (or harms) to Langley might be and we won’t be able to provide informed comment until these details are known.

2. Should Canada implement a federal carbon tax? ***

Yes.  The provinces and territories recognize the need to act now, and have already begun to price carbon and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberal Party of Canada will end the cycle of federal parties – of all stripes – setting arbitrary targets without a real federal/provincial/territorial plan in place.

We will instead partner with provincial and territorial leaders to develop real climate change solutions, consistent with our international obligations to protect the planet, all while growing our economy.

We will work together to establish national emissions-reduction targets, and ensure that the provinces and territories have targeted federal funding and the flexibility to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies.

These targets must recognise the economic cost and catastrophic impact that a greater-than-two-degree increase in average global temperatures would represent, as well as the need for Canada to do its part to prevent that from happening.

3. Should Canada subsidize green energy production to cut CO2 emissions?

Yes.  The Liberal Party of Canada will invest $100 million more each year in clean technology producers, so that they can tackle Canada’s most pressing environmental challenges, and create more opportunities for Canadian workers.

We will deliver more support to emerging clean tech manufacturing companies, making it easier for them to conduct research and bring new products to market.

We will also invest $200 million more each year to support innovation and the use of clean technologies in our natural resource sectors, including the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors.

We will enhance existing tax measures to generate more clean technology investments, and work with the provinces and territories to make Canada the world’s most competitive tax jurisdiction for investments in the research, development, and manufacturing of clean technology.

4. Would you support recall legislation for federal MPs?

Yes.

5. Do you support a balanced budget law?

No.

6. Do you support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion as currently legislated?

Yes.

7. Does Canada need stricter controls and tracking of guns?

No.  There are nearly 6,000 victims of gun violence in Canada every year, including one third of all homicides.   The Liberal Party of Canada wants less gun violence in Canada through effective gun control that keeps Canadians safe.

We believe in balanced gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring that law-abiding firearms owners do not face undue treatment under the law.  The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to evidence-based firearms policy.

Liberals opposed Bill C-42 because it contained several measures that put the safety of Canadians at risk.  These measures included taking the power to classify firearms out of the hands of the police – the experts in keeping Canadians safe – and putting it in the hands of politicians, as well as eliminating the need for owners of prohibited and restricted firearms to have transportation authorization to carry those guns in their vehicles. This means they could freely transport handguns or automatic weapons anywhere within their province, whether to a grocery store or a soccer field.

Liberals did agree with certain measures contained in Bill C-42, such as streamlining licencing paperwork, tightening safety training requirements, and making it harder for people convicted of domestic offences to obtain a gun.

We believe in balanced, effective gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring law-abiding firearms owners do not face unfair treatment under the law.

We will not bring back a gun registry, but we do need smart and well-crafted gun control legislation.

8. Should Canada re-instate the death penalty for murder?

No.

9. Should marijuana be legalized and/or decriminalized?  ***

Legalized.  The Conservatives’ approach to marijuana has failed our children. A recent World Health Organization report revealed that Canada has the highest teen usage of marijuana amongst the countries surveyed.

The system is clearly broken. The Liberal solution is clear: If we pass smart laws that tax and strictly regulate marijuana, we can better protect our kids, while preventing millions of dollars from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs.

The NDP’s decriminalization-only program and the Conservatives’ continued failed approach will keep production and distribution in the hands of gangs, does nothing to keep it out of the hands of children or protect Canadians’ public safety concerns, and still allows gangs to collect proceeds.

10. Should prostitution be legalized and/or decriminalized?

Don’t know.  On December 20 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) unanimously ruled that the Criminal Code impeded sex workers’ Charter Right to security of person and gave the government one year to amend the contested provisions.

Harper’s Conservatives responded by introducing Bill C-36, a bill that fails to comply with the SCC’s decision in the Bedford case, namely providing adequate protections for the health and safety of vulnerable people, particularly women. Some experts testified that the bill makes sex workers more vulnerable and prone to exploitation.

Further, the minister failed to produce any evidence that they sought legal opinions in drafting Bill C-36 and refused to submit it to the SCC to determine its constitutional validity. Bill C-36 is a fundamentally flawed bill, which is why the Liberal caucus opposed it.

We are supportive of the additional $20 million pledged in Bill C-36 to help sex workers transition to other work, but remain concerned that the money is insufficient and lacks clear guidelines.

Liberals are dedicated to giving Canadians a better government that reflects their real priorities and upholds the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

11. Should online voting systems be created?

Yes.  The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to open and fair elections.  We believe it is vital to make our electoral system more civil and ideas-based rather than an overly partisan process that makes it difficult for many Canadians to vote.

We will ensure that electoral reform measures, including online voting, are fairly studied and considered.  This will be carried out by a special all-party parliamentary committee, which will bring recommendations to Parliament on the way forward to make future elections more open and fair.

12. Do you support a change from first-past-the-post elections to a proportional-representation system?

Yes.  As noted in the previous response, the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to open and fair elections.  We will ensure that electoral reform measures, including ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting and online voting, are fairly studied and considered.  This will be carried out by a special all-party parliamentary committee, which will bring recommendations to Parliament on the way forward to make future elections more open and fair.  Within 18 months of forming government, we will bring forward legislation to enact electoral reform.

13. Should the federal government invest more in Metro Vancouver public transit?

Yes.  A Liberal government will also provide unprecedented new investments in public transit, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure. We will nearly double federal infrastructure investment to $125 billion – from the current $65 billion – over the next decade.

We will not only significantly increase the scale of federal infrastructure investment; our plan will provide provinces, territories, and municipalities with an unprecedented level of long-term predictability in funding, as well. This will be done in full respect of provincial jurisdiction.

We will make an immediate down payment on this plan to kick start job creation and economic growth. For each of the next two fiscal years, a Liberal government will double current federal infrastructure investment to $10 billion per year from $5 billion.

A Liberal government will more than triple federal investment in public transit over the next four years, and over ten years we will quadruple it. Our funding will be flexible to the requirements of municipalities, in order to maximize the number of public transit projects that are built in Canada.

We will boost investment in public transit by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.

Our new plan will have three distinct eligibility areas for public transit, social, and green infrastructure, and we will begin negotiations with the provinces about program parameters with that view in mind.

14. Should the federal government invest more in health care?

Yes.  The Liberal Party of Canada believes that every Canadian must have access to timely, publicly funded, quality, universal health care, regardless of background, physical needs, geographical location, or the amount of money in their pocket.

Unfortunately Harper and his Conservatives do not share our values. For the last 10 years under Stephen Harper, health has been virtually absent from the federal agenda. Harper’s long term plan for public health care has been to reduce funding to the provinces, territories, and Aboriginal governments and make steep cuts to important programs like drug treatment, mental health care, and suicide prevention. Harper’s Conservatives refused to renegotiate the Liberal 2004 Health Accord– allowing it to expire in March 2014– and have announced that they will make substantial, unilateral reductions to the Canada Health Transfer beginning in 2017. Canadians deserve better.

Stephen Harper has failed to help Canadians, and Thomas Mulcair’s immediate priority is eliminating Harper’s deficit, which has already forced him to break his promises on health care, transit, and child care. Justin Trudeau is the only leader with a real plan to invest in our future and give Canadians a better government that reflects their priorities.

15. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, should Canada commit to taking in more refugees every year?

Yes.  Recent tragic events have touched people around the world. As Canadians grieve the loss of innocent lives, they are also asking questions about what Canada can do to help refugee families in crisis.

Historically, Canadian governments from across the political spectrum have stepped up in times of crisis to offer safe haven to men, women, and children who are seeking asylum from persecution and displacement. Whether it was Pierre Trudeau’s government accepting thousands of Ugandan refugees in the early 1970s or Joe Clark’s government welcoming in tens of thousands of boat people from 1979-1980, Canadians know we must focus on doing the right thing. This situation goes well beyond politics. It is about living up to the values that we cherish as a country.

Canada can and must do more to help those in need. That is why a Liberal government will expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada. We will also work with private sponsors to intake even more.  We will invest at least an additional $100 million this fiscal year to increase – without reducing standards – refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.

The international community is working to address this refugee crisis; Canada must do our part by expanding our refugee targets and giving more victims of war a safe haven Canada.

16. Should the government stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

Don’t know.  The Trans Mountain extension project is a proposed line parallel to the existing Trans Mountain line to move diluted bitumen and other products from Edmonton to its terminal in Burnaby, B.C., for shipment to largely Asia.

The Liberal Party of Canada has serious concerns about the review process, which failed to consult adequately with local communities and Indigenous Peoples, and Canadians have not been reassured that the local economy and environment will be protected.

One of a Prime Minister’s central responsibilities is to get Canadian resources to market. Pipelines are an important part of the infrastructure necessary to move Canada’s energy resources to domestic and global markets. Yet, by refusing to acknowledge that strong environmental and economic policies can and must coexist, Stephen Harper has damaged Canada’s future economic interests and jeopardized Canadian resource development.

Pipeline projects must earn the trust of local communities, must respect Aboriginal rights, and cannot place our lands, waterways or ecosystems at risk.

Canada needs clear and efficient processes with reasonable, even-handed rules and clear beginning and ending points, to ensure fair and reliable assessments of projects based on their merits. That is why a Liberal government will launch an immediate public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes and replace Mr. Harper’s changes with a comprehensive, timely, and fair process.

As part of our review, we will modernize and rebuild trust in the National Energy Board. We will ensure that it has broad regional representation and sufficient expertise in fields such as environmental science, community development, and Indigenous traditional knowledge.

17. Should Canada raise taxes to fund government spending?

No.  In 2015, the Liberal Party has committed to cutting taxes for Canada’s middle class through a reduction in the second income tax rate from 22% to 20.5%, although a new tax rate of 33% will be introduced on Canada’s top 1% of earners.  We will honour the reduction in taxes for small businesses from 11 % – 9%.  And we will not raise the corporate tax rate, to ensure Canada’s corporations remain competitive internationally and create jobs domestically.

18. Is Canadian content legislation still necessary?

Yes.

19. Should the CBC be privatized?

No.

20. Should Canada’s military be involved in the ongoing conflict with ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

No.  ISIL poses a real and serious threat to security around the world and in Canada. Liberals believe that Canada has a role to play in the international effort against ISIL, but that role must serve our national interests. The Liberal Party of Canada has never been opposed to deploying our Armed Forces into combat when it clearly serves Canada’s national interest. Military missions designed to uphold that interest must have transparent objectives and a responsible plan to achieve them. The mission fails to meet that test, and furthermore will not provide a constructive solution to the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the region.

The government proposed an unfocused, unending mission for the Canadian Forces that we cannot support. We cannot trust a government that has proven itself so capable of misleading the Canadian public. Our military has already been sent into ground combat operations in Iraq, despite the Prime Minister’s explicit assurances this would not happen. The Prime Minister also has not clearly articulated its objectives, and the government has no exit strategy.

Canada does have a clear interest in training and equipping Iraqi forces to fight and destroy ISIL. We can – and should – do this training away from the front lines as our allies have been doing. We should also participate in a well-funded and well-planned international humanitarian aid effort. The refugee crisis alone threatens the region’s security, overwhelming neighbouring countries. Here at home, we should expand our refugee targets and give more victims of war the opportunity to start a new life in Canada.

A future Liberal government would shift Canada’s mission to a non-combat mission, focused on training and humanitarian aid, as quickly and responsibly as possible.

 

Scott Anderson

How long have you lived in your riding?

five years

 

How long have you been a member of the federal party you represent?

one

1. Will Langley business benefit from Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

No. The intended beneficiaries are multinational corporations.

2. Should Canada implement a federal carbon tax?

Yes.

3. Should Canada subsidize green energy production to cut CO2 emissions?

Yes. This is a no-brainer.

4. Would you support recall legislation for federal MPs?

No. Although this sounds democratic, it is not. Once a vote has been taken the will of the public has been heard. Recall gives pressure groups a way to rfight elections, thereby subverting the electoral system.

5. Do you support a balanced budget law?

No. Sometimes a government must run a deficit for reasons out of its control or to address a serious domestic need. Governments are not businesses.

6. Do you support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion as currently legislated?

7. Does Canada need stricter controls and tracking of guns?

Yes. We do not want Canada to end up like the U.S.

8. Should Canada re-instate the death penalty for murder?

No. The risk of wrongful conviction is too high.

9. Should marijuana be legalized and/or decriminalized?

Yes. It’s time to take drug profits away from organized crime. Prohibition puts drug profits into the hands of gangsters and is partly responsible for gun violence. It’s time to take back our streetson our streets.

10. Should prostitution be legalized and/or decriminalized?

No.

11. Should online voting systems be created?

No. The potential for hacking and sabotage is too high.

12. Do you support a change from first-past-the-post elections to a proportional-representation system?

Yes. This is also a no-brainer.

13. Should the federal government invest more in Metro Vancouver public transit?

Yes. The lack of proper transit funding is a major problem for the Lower Mainland, especially Langley.

14. Should the federal government invest more in health care?

Yes. This is amoral obligation that the Harper government has deliberately betrayed.

15. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, should Canada commit to taking in more refugees every year?

No. Canada should commit to taking in refugees, but should not commit to annual increases automatically.

16. Should the government stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

Yes. This is an environmental imperative. Moreover, Canadian bitumen should be processed in Canada.

17. Should Canada raise taxes to fund government spending?

Yes, but only corporate taxes. As it is citizens are subsidizing corporations, which pay a paltry 15% tax.

18. Is Canadian content legislation still necessary?

Yes. Without it, Canadian arts would be drowned out by  the sea of U.S. pop culture

19. Should the CBC be privatized?

No. The CBC’s value is that it is not private and vulnerable to the dictates of corpporate advertisers

20. Should Canada’s military be involved in the ongoing conflict with ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

No. The West started it and the Russians seem able to fix it.

 

Dean Drysdale

How long have you lived in your riding?

In Langley since 1975.

How long have you been a member of the federal party you represent?

40 years

1. Will Langley business benefit from Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Yes.

2. Should Canada implement a federal carbon tax?

No.

3. Should Canada subsidize green energy production to cut CO2 emissions?

It depends on the cost and how much emissions would be cut.

4. Would you support recall legislation for federal MPs?

5. Do you support a balanced budget law?

Yes.

6. Do you support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion as currently legislated?

I’m pro-life.

7. Does Canada need stricter controls and tracking of guns?

Criminals who use guns should go to jail.

8. Should Canada re-instate the death penalty for murder?

No.

9.  Should marijuana be legalized and/or decriminalized?

No.

10. Should prostitution be legalized and/or decriminalized?

No.

11. Should online voting systems be created?

No.

12. Do you support a change from first-past-the-post elections to a proportional-representation system?

No.

13. Should the federal government invest more in Metro Vancouver public transit?

Yes.

14. Should the federal government invest more in health care?

Yes.  It has been and will continue to.

15. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, should Canada commit to taking in more refugees every year?

16. Should the government stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

17. Should Canada raise taxes to fund government spending?

No.

18. Is Canadian content legislation still necessary?

It has worked well until now.

19. Should the CBC be privatized?

20. Should Canada’s military be involved in the ongoing conflict with ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

Yes.

 

Rebecca Smith

How long have you lived in your riding?

This riding has only been in existence for a few short years. I have lived here since before its inception. I grew up in Langley, and have made my home in Cloverdale since 2010.

How long have you been a member of the federal party you represent?

I have always been a part of the New Democratic Party and movement. However, I have been an active member engaged in riding associations and efforts for the last three years

1. Will Langley business benefit from Canada joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

The Conserva‎tives have no mandate to sign the TPP and an NDP government will not be bound by the agreement. The TPP potentially seriously threatens our manufacturing and dairy industries. It may also cause the price of medicine to increase substantially. Canadians deserve to see the full text of the agreement. The TPP has been negotiated in secret and the full text of the deal has not been released for scrutiny.

2. Should Canada implement a federal carbon tax?

3. Should Canada subsidize green energy production to cut CO2 emissions?

Yes, we need to kick start the green economy to ensure reduce carbon emissions. Green technology is a growing market and Canada should be a leader.

4. Would you support recall legislation for federal MPs?

5. Do you support a balanced budget law?

6. Do you support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion as currently legislated?

Yes, I support a woman’s right to choose.

7. Does Canada need stricter controls and tracking of guns?

The NDP believes in the public safety laws that protect all Canadians and ensure that police can work as safely as possible. The gun registry was a flawed initiative that divided Canadians. New Democrats will not be turning back the clock by bringing back the long-gun registry. For too long, both Liberals and Conservatives have played divisive politics with this issue. We simply refuse to do that. Canadians can find reasonable, common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence and strengthen public protection, while respecting law abiding gun owners. Our focus right now is to crack down on crime and hire 2,500 new police officers to help make our communities safer.

8. Should Canada re-instate the death penalty for murder?

no.

9. Should marijuana be legalized and/or decriminalized?

Yes. to decriminalization.

10. Should prostitution be legalized and/or decriminalized?

11. Should online voting systems be created?

12. Do you support a change from first-past-the-post elections to a proportional-representation system?

Yes, our current electoral system is archaic and we need a proportional representation system that reflects the intention of Canadians. Let’s make every vote count.

13. Should the federal government invest more in Metro Vancouver public transit?

Yes, after ten years of the Conservatives, they have left our municipalities fighting against other municipalities for transit funding. An NDP government will provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to help the Lower Mainland grow. We will invest $5.2 billion in transit and infrastructure in the Lower Mainland over the next 20 years.

14. Should the federal government invest more in health care?

Yes, the Conservatives have been attacking our health care system and have been opening the door to privatization. Canadians pride ourselves on our public healthcare system and we need to protect it.

15. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, should Canada commit to taking in more refugees every year?

Yes, Canada can and must do more in wake of the Syrian refugee crisis. The Conservatives have tarnished our international reputation as a humanitarian country.

16. Should the government stop the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

17. Should Canada raise taxes to fund government spending?

18. Is Canadian content legislation still necessary?

19. Should the CBC be privatized?

No, the CBC is part of our Canadian identity. We must protect our public broadcaster which is why we’ll be reversing Stephen Harper’s cuts to strengthen Canadian culture)

20. Should Canada’s military be involved in the ongoing conflict with ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

 

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