Candidates answer readers’ questions

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Green Party candidate Matt Greenwood provides answers

  • Oct. 15, 2015 3:00 p.m.

1. What action will the federal government take in the foreseeable future to fund and/or support the construction of a new pool/recreational facility in 100 Mile House? Possibly through health and recreational grants? When smaller towns like Kimberley and Creston already have such facilities.

2. Both the government of Canada and the government of British Columbia are engaged in treaty negotiations with the First Nations in this riding. In that process, there has been a lack of proper consideration for the rights of third-party stakeholders, such as range tenure holders. What is your party’s policy to deal with this problem and provide proper compensation and a fair remedy?

3. What immediate plans would your party have to invest in the development of new businesses in the 100 Mile House area through low/no tax incentives to attract new young families to the area? Businesses like computer-related industry, R&D facilities, apprentice programs all of which would enhance federal/provincial industry knowledge bases.

4. What long-term plan does your party have for dealing with the present and ongoing demographic shift? An increasing proportion of seniors in the population will bring higher medical costs and greater need for affordable supportive housing. As fewer employers offer pension plans, there is likely to be a greater number of people largely or wholly dependent on public pensions.

Matt Greenwood

Green Party candidate

 

1. Green MPs would work to increase the transfer of gas tax revenue to municipalities to five cents/litre, change tax law to encourage RRSP investment in municipal bonds, and devote one percentage point of GST revenues to municipalities across the country, directed by a series of super funds to a variety of project-categories, such as transit improvement, brown-field remediation, water and waste treatment, community housing, and sports/cultural/recreational facilities.

 

2. A big reason the treaty process has been so combative is due to the high stakes involved, but the reason the stakes are now so high has much to do with having let the problem go unresolved for so terribly long.

If we had worked harder to settle land claims with First Nations 20 or 30 years ago, before a string of increasingly powerful court decisions in their favour, the cost and disruption of a better arrangement may have been a fraction of today’s total, and those costs will only keep going up from here.

The sooner we can settle these claims (as they must be one day), the better for everyone.

Greens would take the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations as a starting point, and create a Council of Canadian Governments, including municipal and aboriginal representation to better co-ordinate all levels of government in working together for all our common goals.

 

3. Once we bring in the Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) to replace the vast patchwork of ultra-low-income supports and associated bureaucracies, even small towns will likely have an income base that can support much more economic activity than they currently do.

Combine the many opportunities for development of small-scale local renewable power (every $1 million of investment in renewables provides an average of 14 jobs, compared to two in oil/gas) with the “army of carpenters, electricians and contractors” to insulate and plug up our inefficient leaky buildings – saving us all money from heating the winter and cooling the summer as well as making a big dent in our carbon emissions at the same time – and this will, in turn, provide plenty of spaces for new apprenticeships and trades skills development.

We would also bridge the “digital divide” and make quality high-speed Internet available to all communities, supporting tech jobs, too.

 

4. The Green Party was the first in this election to announce a national seniors strategy, consisting of a phased-in increase in CPP income replacement from 25 to 50 per cent, the introduction of PharmaCare, which could save Canadians $11 billion annually while only costing the government $1 billion (unless the TPP keeps drug prices high), a national housing/home-care strategy (home care being vastly less expensive than hospital care) to help seniors live in their communities with safety and dignity for as long as possible, a long-overdue national dementia strategy, and maintaining income splitting for retired couples.

Further, Greens support extending the old federal Health Accord until a new one can be properly negotiated, thereby avoiding the effective $36 billion cut currently looming over the next 10 years, while rebalancing federal health transfers to take account of provincial demographics, so that relatively more elderly populations will get all the funding they need.

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