Born in 2001 to farming parents, much of my life is defined by an entrenchment in rural living. Having spent almost all of my life on a primarily beef farm, I have come to know the beauty and rewards of agriculture, tending not only a healthy herd of Limousin cattle, but also sheep, poultry, and many gardens of fresh fruit and vegetables. My parents, Craig and Michelle, both work in education, and the farm is a part-time affair for the whole family, with plenty of work for my two sisters and I as well. I graduated as an honours student from I.E. Weldon Secondary School in 2019, And headed immediately to the University of Guelph. There, I studied Sociology and Anthropology, being named to the dean’s list in both of my first semesters. Taking a year off of school due to covid, I work as a finisher and labourer for a concrete contractor in the Peterborough area, doing floors and finished surfaces in residential construction. Now, I have made a pathway change and will be starting studies at Durham College in the Industrial Mechanic-Millwright pre-apprenticeship program, with hopes to work in industrial maintenance in the future. I consider myself a dedicated, reliable, adaptable individual, with a strong work ethic gathered through my many different experiences. In my free time, I can usually be found working on motorcycles, taking care of the farm, fishing, or writing. Playing music, cooking, and sports rounds out my list of personal interests.
2 – What makes you the best choice to be our Member of Parliament?
Today, families in our communities are worried about jobs, the health of our loved ones, and the public services that everyone counts on. But the past 18 months have shown that Canadians can confront any challenge – when we have to, when we choose to, and when we come together. It’s also shown us that thanks to the decisions of Liberal and Conservative governments, many of the supports that we rely on just aren’t there when we need them. If we want different results, we need to make different choices. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP will continue to fight for you. On September 20, I urge you to vote NDP because you deserve better.
3 – What is the most important Federal issue affecting people here in the riding of SDSG? How will your party address this issue?
Decades of Conservative cuts and Liberal inaction have harmed the services we count on – and Canadians are left struggling. They can’t access health care, medication, mental health care, or home care that they or their loved ones need. This, I believe is an absolutely critical issue in this campaign. New Democrats believe we all benefit when we live longer, healthier lives – and we’re committed to a future where we take better care of one another, so everyone benefits. After decades of promises, the Liberals have once again failed to make sure every Canadian can afford the medications they need. We’ll invest in health care and expand it to include pharmacare that covers everyone – and work towards expanding it even further. Under our system, everyone should have access to quality health care no matter where they live. But too often, Canadians are getting different care depending on their province of residence – a problem made worse by a lack of federal leadership under successive Liberal and Conservative governments. New Democrats believe that the federal government has a critical role to play in upholding and enforcing the Canada Health Act, especially against the creeping threat of privatization and user fees. We will also act immediately to prevent the sale of blood products, and to make sure that people can access safe abortion services in all regions. A New Democrat government will work with the provinces and territories to tackle wait times and improve access to primary care across the country – and we’ll work with the provinces to develop public infrastructure for secure, accessible virtual healthcare. We will identify coming gaps in health human resources and make a plan to recruit and retain the doctors, nurses and other health professionals Canadians need. New Democrats will also work with the provinces and territories to expand and improve access to palliative care across the country.
4 – What are your thoughts on Canada’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic? What is your party’s plan to address the pandemic moving forward?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious weaknesses in Canada’s pandemic preparedness and response capacities. New Democrats will strengthen these systems so that Canada is never again unprepared and left behind in a global pandemic. We believe the government should immediately take a leadership role in a federal vaccination strategy to ensure all Canadians can be vaccinated. Moving forward, we’ll provide stable, long-term funding for the Public Health Agency of Canada so they can protect public health and be ready with surge capacity in the event of a crisis. Canada needs to have the capacity to produce vaccines for public health emergencies, a capacity that we lost under Liberal and Conservative governments. New Democrats will establish a crown corporation charged with domestic vaccine production so that Canadians are never again at the back of the line. To protect medical personnel, patients and essential workers, we’ll ensure that Canada maintains an adequate and responsibly-managed stockpile of personal protective equipment, with an emphasis on supporting domestic production. Finally, Canada is a leader in innovative health research, a field that is more important than ever. We will work with universities and health professionals to make sure that public research on critical health issues continues to flourish. New Democrats will reverse the Liberals’ reckless move to weaken the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, which provides surveillance and early warnings that are critical for managing international public health emergencies like pandemics.
5 – What are the best ways to support economic recovery after a pandemic? What will your party do to support small businesses?
The pandemic changed the way many of us work. Overnight, millions of jobs disappeared. People who could work from home scrambled to juggle work and family responsibilities. Parents – mostly women – without childcare were forced to leave their jobs. Essential workers stayed on the job – many without decent wages, protection from COVID-19 or sick days. Frontline workers – especially in health care – were heroes. The growth of low-paid, insecure work is the result of decades of decisions by Liberal and Conservative governments – from scrapping the federal minimum wage in the 1990s to telling Canadians to “get used to” short-term, precarious work. New Democrats are different – because we are working people. For our whole history, we have fought for better working conditions and standards that lift everyone up. We know that good jobs that treat people fairly make a real difference to Canadian families – and that setting Canadians up for success in the work world of the future benefits us all. Small businesses are one of the engines of job creation in Canada, and an important part of every community across the country. Local shops keep our communities running, and they need our support now more than ever. Too many main street small and medium-sized businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses need a government that helps them access the services and infrastructure they need to recover, thrive and expand, while investing in a healthy and talented workforce. New Democrats believe that small businesses should have access to all the support they need to get through this crisis, grow, innovate and stay competitive in Canada and around the world. That’s why we have stood up for emergency small business aid during COVID-19, lower small business taxes, opposed unfair merchant fees, and fought to make it easier to pass on small businesses to the next generation. New Democrats will make sure that small businesses wage and rent subsidies continue until small businesses are able to fully reopen. To help small businesses get people back to work, we’ll put in place a long-term hiring bonus to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired staff. New Democrats will keep working hard for small businesses to tackle issues that impact their bottom line. As more and more small businesses rely on credit card and virtual transactions, we’ll put an end to gouging by capping high credit card merchant fees at a maximum of 1%. Our plan for public, universal pharmacare will also save businesses approximately $600 per employee with extended health benefits every year – and it means that all small businesses can feel confident knowing that their employees are able to access the prescription drugs they need. To help Canadian small business step out on the world stage, a New Democrat government will streamline access to government export services and make it simpler to break into foreign markets. We’ll also provide small- and medium-sized businesses with a single point of contact to help ease regulatory processes and support compliance – freeing up time for entrepreneurs to invest in growing their business. Recognizing that a shortage of workers is a major barrier for many small businesses operating in rural areas, we’ll make important new investments in training Canadians and boost support to traditionally underemployed groups, ensuring that they can access good jobs that pay a fair wage.
6 – What is your reaction to the UN climate report? Does Canada have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, and if yes, what is the best course of action?
After having overseen emission increases every single year in which they have been in power, the Liberals have set a target that is not in line with what the best available science says is needed, and won’t do enough to prevent the catastrophic consequences of warming above 1.5 degrees. Parliament recently passed C-12, to put in law our collective commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. New Democrats are proud of the role we have played in getting here – from Jack Layton’s advocacy for climate accountability legislation almost 15 years ago, to our success in ensuring C-12 included short-term accountability measures – measures that will be so critical in setting Canada up to meet those targets. C-12 was a step in the right direction, but it was not the bill New Democrats would have written. New Democrats are committed to helping stabilize the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To that end we will set a target of reducing Canada’s emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, reaching further wherever possible to account for Canada’s fair share. We know that reaching net-zero by 2050 means taking action now, during the term of this next Parliament. We will work with partners to establish multi-year national and sectoral carbon budgets as a key guiding framework to develop Canada’s path to 2030 and beyond. And we will create and fund a Climate Accountability Office, to provide independent oversight of federal climate progress, to engage the public, and to make recommendations on how to achieve our goals. Putting a price on carbon has been an important tool in efforts to drive emissions reductions. We will continue with carbon pricing while making it fairer and rolling back loopholes this Liberal government has given to big polluters. But we also recognize that carbon pricing won’t be enough to tackle the climate crisis. Further action is needed. One thing we won’t do is continue down the path that Liberal and Conservative governments have chosen when it comes to spending public money on oil and gas subsidies. Under Prime Minister Trudeau, the federal government spent $18 billion to support oil and gas exploration, production, refining, transportation and more in 2020 alone – and that’s on top of purchasing the Kinder-Morgan oil pipeline. New Democrats know that public funds are best spent supporting the transition to renewable energy, rather than on profitable oil and gas companies. We will fulfill Canada’s G-20 commitment to eliminate these fossil fuel subsidies and redirect these funds to low carbon initiatives, and make sure that future governments can’t reverse this by putting in place legislation to ban any future oil, gas and pipeline subsidies. We’ll work with the provinces and territories to make Canada an innovation leader on methane reduction in such areas as real-time monitoring and leakage detection, ensuring that provincial methane regulations are genuinely equivalent with the federal regulations, and increasing the ambition of those targets in the 2025-30 period. The federal government can also model change, by becoming a trail-blazer in energy efficiency, clean technologies and renewable energy use. We will lead by example and procure from Canadian companies producing clean technology, ensure that federal buildings use renewable energy, and move the vehicle fleets of the federal government to electric by 2025, choosing made-in-Canada wherever possible. We will protect Canadian businesses who are taking action to transition to a low-carbon future with a border carbon adjustment that will level the playing field on imports from areas without a carbon price. And we will appoint a Climate Emergency Committee of Cabinet and establish a strong Climate Emergency Secretariat in the PMO to ensure a whole-of-government approach to responding to the climate emergency.
7 – Tragic discoveries have been made at Residential schools. What should the Federal Government do to address this and other issues impacting Aboriginals (e.g., land claims, clean drinking water, etc.) ?
Indigenous peoples have lived with the impact and legacy of colonialism for decades. Their resilience in the face of genocide is why Indigenous people, language and culture survive. Canadians are reckoning with the theft of children from families and land from Indigenous communities. Successive federal governments have denied the basic human rights of Indigenous peoples, stolen children from their parents, forced Indigenous peoples off their homelands and territories, and claimed lands without consent or compensation. New Democrats are committed to undertaking the important work of reconciliation in good faith, and in true and equal partnership with Indigenous communities across the country. We believe that the Crown’s relationship to Indigenous peoples must be based on an acknowledgement of our country’s colonial history of genocide and stolen lands – and include legally binding commitments to fair and equitable redress going forward. We will: Uphold Indigenous rights and advancing self-determination Invest in children and end funding discrimination Provide safe, quality housing for all Foster thriving and resilient communities with clean water and strong public services
8 – Canada banned blood donations from gay men since 1992. Since 2013, there have been ongoing restrictions. Do you support lifting the remaining restrictions? Why or why not?
The ongoing blood ban is discriminatory and another broken promise by Justin Trudeau. New Democrats have long advocated for an end to the blood ban because technologies are already in place for testing of all blood donations. Blood policies should be based on what is scientifically-proven to be high risk, not on broad and outdated stereotypes, and should be consistently applied to all donors.
9 – What are your thoughts on the Trudeau government? Most significant accomplishment and/or biggest failures?
Canadians from coast to coast to coast have told us that their biggest disappointment with Justin Trudeau is his insistence on SAYING the right saying, but not DOING the right thing. We no longer trust him to act in ten interests of our families. What we have witnessed is an arrogance and lack of understanding of what Canadians are truly experiencing. He has preoccupied himself with doing favours for his well connected friends, while moving at a glacial pace when it comes to delivering help to Canadians. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP understand the needs and priorities of working families. We will fight for you.
10 – Which political leader is the best choice for Prime Minister and why?
Jagmeet Singh of course. Here is Jagmeet in his own words: “I’m not Justin Trudeau. I’m not like him. I’ve lived a different life. I understand the pain of being someone that’s not valued, not worth anything. And Indigenous people have been made to feel that way for so long…And I promise you, I’ll be different.” Jagmeet has worked hard to sustain his family when they were in a vulnerable situation. He has faced discrimination. He believes in the power of community. He believes in the strength of our diversity. On September 20, I urge you to vote NDP
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