Candidates share their views in live Q&A

Over the past two weeks, the Battlefords News-Optimist interviewed candidates running in the Battlefords-Lloydminster electoral district in the federal election. All the candidates were asked the same five questions and their responses, as they responded live, are posted here. The News-Optimist has also invited the Green candidate David Kim-Cragg to participate, but he was unable to confirm his participation in time for publication.

Rosemarie Falk, Conservative Party of Canada

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The economy is always a major issue, and Battlefords-Lloydminster has large agricultural and oil and gas sectors. What are your priorities on the economy, and also, where do you stand on pipelines?

“I’ve done a lot of door knocking and I’ve talked to a lot of voters across Battlefords News-Optimist area and I totally agree with the statement that the economy is top of mind of voters this coming election. Something I’ve heard over and over again is that life is getting too expensive. People are finding it harder to and harder to stay afloat. Nearly half of Canadians are close to insolvency, $200 away from insolvency at the end of the month. And I know, I’ve heard a lot. I was down in Cut Knife and in Unity yesterday. What I am hearing at the door is today’s debt and deficit spending equals tomorrow’s taxes and tax hikes. And people are very concerned with the way Justin Trudeau has been spending over the past four years, but also concerned with his platform and promise to keep $2 billion worth of more spending. And they’re wondering how is that going to be paid back, especially when you talk about oil and gas, and Justin Trudeau has been quoted as saying that he wants to phase out oil and gas.

Rosemarie Falk
Rosemarie Falk

“If that’s important revenue for Canadians that helps provide revenue for social programs, what are we going to do if oil and gas is phased out?

“Even when we look at our ag (sector) I’ve talked to tons of farmers not only across Battlefords News-Optimist riding but also in Alberta. If they can’t get their product to market, for example their canola, their pulse crops or even their beef, what are they going to do, right? So it’s important that our farmers have a voice at the table, agriculture is important in this riding.

“And also when we talk about oil and gas, I can see first-hand. I was just at the forum last night and it was unfortunate to hear some of the candidates speak so ill of the oil companies. But when we have these oil companies provide well-paying jobs to constituents that can then put their kids in hockey or in dance or put food on the table I have a mortgage, have a house, those type of things, and then to see that those companies are putting money back into communities. That takes a whole stress off of government. When we look at Husky in Lloydminster here and also in Turtleford area where they put helipads in Turtleford, and here in Lloydminster they have a helicopter landing pad. This has taken a total expense off the provincial government, and even the federal government and municipal government because they just put it in. So it’s so important that we have a robust economy not only that our constituents can have well-paying jobs and provide for their families, but also to allow private sector to flourish so that takes the weight off the taxpayers.

“Absolutely I would argue that we are the only major federal party that supports pipelines. We plan to get pipelines built, and when I hear from the NDP wanting to totally go green, they want to stop oil and gas right now and go green. And the Liberals, they purchased the pipeline with tax dollars, $4.5 billion and gave it to a private company, and that private company then took that money into the States and invested it there. And they passed C-48 the tanker ban, the tanker moratorium act on the northwest coast of British Columbia. So they purchased the pipeline to move oil and they can’t ship it out when it gets to the coast. I think if they support pipelines they need to put their money where their mouth is, but we need to get shovels into the ground and get our oil moving – which, when we have oil capacity in the pipe, alleviates rail capacity for the farmers right so they get their grain to the coast to ship it out."

A major issue in this election is the environment and climate change. Where do you stand on environmental policies and on the carbon tax?

Our party, and myself as well, there are three guiding principles, the first principle being green tax technology, not taxes. We believe the carbon tax does nothing for the environment and it only makes life more expensive especially for people in rural communities like ours. We have no choice but to drive to work or drive to appointments, that type of thing. Focusing on green technology instead the taxes, when we look at carbon capture … we need to make sure that we encourage and empower innovation when it comes to greener technology.

“The second guiding principle, a cleaner and greener natural environment. So this falls in line with an announcement, a party announcement that was made in Quebec. We believe that we need to have a greener natural environment, so by doing this a conservative government led by Andrew Scheer would work with municipalities and provinces to stop raw sewage dumping into waterways.

“This is happening across the country, but when we look at Catherine McKenna, minister of the environment and climate change, she had approved that Montreal could dump 215 billion liters of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River and so that’s equivalent to 3,200 Olympic size swimming pools. These are things that we can work with provinces a municipality so that we can have just a greener, more natural environment.

“The third guiding principle that would be important to protecting our environment would be taking the fight for our environment global. So we know that there are countries that pollute way more than here in Canada, countries like India and China, and we should be taking our technology like our carbon capture and making sure that we have that opportunity to sell that to other countries and using our renovation. So it’s like a big circle, it kind of comes right back around, right? Yes, Canada needs to do our part, absolutely, I believe that every level of government, it doesn’t matter if it is municipal federal or provincial needs to acknowledge the work that is already being done. This is a failure of our Liberal government, especially in Saskatchewan in enforcing the carbon tax. We need to acknowledge what they are doing, and by doing that we can also take that technology globally and help other countries reducing their omissions.”

Like other countries, Canada is grappling with issues concerning international relations, including issues such as trade and immigration. In general, where do you stand on these issues?

I would argue that we are the party of free trade, but we need leadership. We need a prime minister that’s willing to take leadership, we need a prime minister who isn’t going to embarrass Canada on the world stage, when we look at his trip to India and what that did with relations with a country of India; there has been a direct impact on our producers right here in Saskatchewan and in Battlefords-Lloydminster when India decided to slap that tariff on. When we look at China we need leadership, we need to stand up to China and make sure that our diplomat that are there get home safely. And we need those relations restored, and we need strong leadership with that.

“Regarding immigration Canada‘s conservatives always agree with a compassionate fair and orderly legal immigration system. There is definitely a place for immigration in Canada. We can see that because our population growth is declining and baby boomers are retiring, and we don’t have the people to fill the vacancy that they are leaving."

One issue on the minds of many voters in this election is government spending. Give us your thoughts on what the federal spending priorities should be?

“I believe and especially here in Battlefords-Lloydminster and door knocking, I hear this all the time, is that people want to see money being spent here in Canada. Yes, there’s a place for foreign aid, but this is one reason why Andrew Scheer has come out promising that we would cut 25 per cent of the foreign aid spending that would be going to countries that are already high income countries, countries that have a hostile regime, countries that are doing who knows what with that money was being given. By doing that, by cutting that 25 per cent, we will be able to spend more of that money here back in taxpayers pockets for the programs they already receive. Andrew Scheer has said he will not cut any programs that are already in place.

“Another way to pay for some of this and the programs that Canadians already use such as the child benefit or CPP is cutting corporate welfare by $1.5 billion the first year in government. So, by doing that it’s going to enable Andrew Scheer to make a promise like social transfer payments will not be cut at all, which is great because it gives provinces stability so they can have predictability on what money is coming in, so that the provinces can then make sure these programs for health or education, mental health, that they can deliver those programs knowing that that money is still going to be there."

Besides these topics we just covered, what issues concern you the most in this election campaign in Battlefords-Lloydminster?

“I think there’s lots of issues, and I would say the issues that I hear at the door, people are very concerned about rural crime, even gun crime. I know I’ve heard from a lot of people, too, the unfairness of law-abiding firearms owners that are being punished for Justin Trudeau’s lack of caring about the issue. I just said this last night actually: when a criminal steals a gun, they’re not saying ‘OK just wait, I just need to call a bureaucrat in Ottawa and make sure that my gun is registered so that they know that I took it.’ That’s not how it works, right? We need to have more support for our law enforcement officers and we need to have tougher laws for criminals and for gun and gang crime."

Larry Ingram, Liberal Party of Canada

The economy is always a major issue, and Battlefords-Lloydminster has large agricultural and oil and gas sectors. What are your priorities on the economy, and also, where do you stand on pipelines?

“I stand on the pipeline that it’s going in. The last I was talking to Jim Carr, they would be working on it next year so I’m thinking that pipeline is going to make a real impact. By talking to another person a bit ago I was really interested to know, and then I read something about it in the newspapers that they’re shutting down Pikes Peak oil pumping station and they’re building a new one called Pikes Peak South. Then they’re putting in a carbon sequestration unit into that, the federal government put $3 1/2 million into that machinery. I just found out about it just talking to a tradesman who was working on that site, which is really logical that we are continuing to work on all of the SAG-D sites in my area. Vawn-Edam’s got three now and then Spruce Lake is getting two more, and a cement person was out at my place this morning and was saying there’s going to be more SAG-D sites built right in the proximity of Spruce Lake.

Candidates share their views in live Q&A_1
Larry Ingram

“So personally I am in favour of keeping the oil going because we can’t instantly stop oil and switch to a new system of energy. So that’s what we’re going with and I actually have a quarter section where the pipeline is going across my place just east of Spruce Lake. Yeah, I am pro on putting the pipelines in and the economic driver of that.

“I’m still frustrated that Harper and Ritz allowed the Canadian Wheat Board to be dissolved. I was talking to a neighbour a bit ago and he said his sons were really pro on that when it happened but right now without having any kind of any support network in place, it’s really quite, it’s just a lot more anxiousness for the farmers when it’s like this happening right now, this fall of dampness. It really adds to that which is not good. I just look at them and think, they let the rail line be taken out, they got rid of the Wheat Board, and if right now the anxiousness and the whole anxiety of being a farmer it’s really economic drivers of large equipment and large bills. Yes, it’s all right there.”

A major issue in this election is the environment and climate change. Where do you stand on environmental policies and on the carbon tax?

“I stand on the environmental policies as we have to be more conscientious of what we’re doing. This idea of just going out and randomly taking out all the trees just so you can farm in a larger sector – we’ve got to start replacing our trees.

“In fact, back when we started putting in zero till farming 20 plus years ago there was talk then that we could be able to get paid a premium if we were not tilling our soils. And so the carbon sequestrating which is being acted upon by most farmers right now – if we’re not putting hay for a few years and there’s no tillage or if you’re just going out there zero tilling – we’re keeping the carbon sequestration in place. I personally hope we could be able to get to a point where companies can pay us if to seed down our marginal land to trees, and basically they would lease that or take a payment to farmers so you would be getting revenue from that land and at the same time helping the environment. And that was kind of promoted to us at the time that we would be getting us carbon sequestration payment and so far that’s never actually materialized, and the tree thing has been talked about that is that hasn’t materialized.

The carbon tax, I personally think that that’s necessary to get people to be aware of their actions. A price on pollution is the proper terminology for it. At the same time as paying that price on pollution, we need to be getting reimbursed, the ones of us who are sequestering the carbon. Right now a lot of people will say that farming in Saskatchewan we are keeping almost a zero balance on it. That’s not being put out there properly.”

Like other countries, Canada is grappling with issues concerning international relations, including issues such as trade and immigration. In general, where do you stand on these issues?

In general, we are the only country in the G7 who has a trade agreement with all the rest of the countries. I thought that was really good. We’ve got one of the highest credit ratings in the world as far as borrowing money. And then when you get to the immigration part, it’s necessary for us to have more people coming into the country. APAS has said we’re nine thousand short of farm-related workers a couple of years ago. We’re still there right now. You talk to lots of people and they can’t find employees, it’s really hard to find employees.

“A lot of people say that, that they can’t find employees around to do the work. If we’re not having the children ourselves, we’ve got to have immigration.”

One issue on the minds of many voters in this election is government spending. Give us your thoughts on what the federal spending priorities should be?

“What has been achieved in less than four years: jobs and growth. Canada wins trade battle against illegal US steel tariffs safeguarding 1,100 jobs at Evraz in Regina. More people are working in Saskatchewan today than ever before in history. We are also more than 15,000 net new Saskatchewan jobs have been generated since this time last year. Job growth in Canada overall is near a 40 year high, and the unemployment rate is near a 40 year low. Canada’s credit rating is AAA. Our debt ratio is the best in the G7 and getting better every year. Middle class tax rate cut by 7 per cent, boosting disposable income for more than nine million taxpayers. Small business tax rates cut by 18%, increasing profitability and driving more growth.

‘Over $6.5 million in CCB (child care benefit) to over 17,000 children in this riding every month.”

Besides these topics we just covered, what issues concern you the most in this election campaign in Battlefords-Lloydminster?

“The reason that I have been focused more on our politics now in the last couple of years is because my son committed suicide eight and a half years ago.

“And I really feel that the mental health, the mental well-being of all of the citizens in our constituency, and podcasts I listen to are saying that the suicide rates have gone up around the world in the last few years. The reality of our media, in the Facebook thing, in whatever media you’re listening to or being a part of, seems to become more harsh every year and it’s not helping people in day-to-day life.

“And so, last winter, I had the opportunity to get the mental health first aid certificate when they did that course up at Marshall’s Ambulance in St. Walburg. I took part in that as well. I find out later that it was an initiative of the federal government to set up that mental health first aid. It turns out my understanding is there was no influx of money from any other levels, it was just strictly the federal Liberals.

“And that is very much a part of why I’m involved, because for me it was 100 present shock because I didn’t know that even my son was on antidepressants, let alone any issues. And to be hit broadside with the fact that he committed suicide has pretty much numbed me for quite a few years. And I look at it and I think if I can help people, other families to not have this burden, this condition that I’ve got now, to not have to go through this, then it makes sense for me to be involved at this level. Because no other party is putting mental health at the top of the list like the federal Liberals are.

“I toss it back-and-forth in my mind, what is the most important, the climate change or is it our mental health and mental well-being, physical health, physical well-being? The natural and the body are one and the same and the reality is that we have to start getting more concerned about our environment and our neighbours and our friends and human beings in general, or all the money isn’t going to buy anything.”

Jason MacInnis, People’s Party of Canada

The economy is always a major issue, and Battlefords-Lloydminster has large agricultural and oil and gas sectors. What are your priorities on the economy, and also, where do you stand on pipelines?

“Both the ag and oil industry are taking a beating right now, between not really being able to get any pipelines built by the current government, and having real difficulty selling a lot of our grain, our commodities to China and a lot of other large countries who usually buy a large proportion of it. As far as the ag stuff goes, I will have to see how China develops for now until after the election. We are obviously going to have to still pursue a lot of regular channels to see what we could do to (a) freeing the two Canadians that are there and (b) trying to get our pork, our beef, our canola, and every other crop that currently has a problem over to China as soon as possible.

Candidates share their views in live Q&A_0
Jason MacInnis

“As far as pipelines go, much like the Conservatives we are planning on getting some pipelines built, but unlike the Conservatives we are planning on imposing pipelines. So whether or not Quebec or B.C. is on board with them, we will be getting them built, we will be enacting the Charter in order to do so. No tooling around, no more basically screwing people over who work in the oil field. This is peoples’ livelihood, this is a fairly good paying position, this will create more jobs than you could shake a stick at, but it will also create good paying jobs, not minimum wage jobs or internships or whatever. It will create usually jobs that are on average in the $100,000 a year range.”

A major issue in this election is the environment and climate change. Where do you stand on environmental policies and on the carbon tax?

“As far as carbon tax goes, you can say goodbye to it, both under us or the Conservatives. The only difference is we are not bringing out a carbon pricing plan. We believe that crippling your economy for … what is already demonstrated is not really human caused – we may play a small part in it but I don’t believe we’re the cause of it. The climate is always changing.

“So we’re planning on not burning our economy in order to meet that target. We’re planning on pulling out of the UN, Paris accords … we’re definitely not going to be imposing any sort of carbon tax, we aren’t going to be doing any sort of carbon pricing. …Throwing money at the problem is not going to solve the problem. Simply charging large companies that you feel are high causes of carbon simply moves the savings along to us anyway. You’re going to look at GM, for instance, I don’t know if they’re one of the ones on the list, but all GM’s going to do is for the extra money they’re going to throw in to this carbon pricing scheme, increase the value of vehicles so that in the end if you’re buying a vehicle you’re eating it. I think doing that is just going to cause a real hit to our economy either way and really mess with the cost of living.    

“Also, another plan with us, not on that topic on carbon taxes, but the GST, we’re planning on getting rid of it and delegating the responsibilities to the provinces to handle their own healthcare and so forth, so that they can work within their means and we’re going to let them run their own programs.”

Like other countries, Canada is grappling with issues concerning international relations, including issues such as trade and immigration. In general, where do you stand on these issues?

“Well as far as immigration goes we are planning on fairly low conservative numbers. And we are planning on that for two reasons. One because taking in 300,000-400,000 migrants a year is not feasible, (a) because the cost of helping these people along until we get them through the process, but (b) it’s a lot of people we are bringing in and they are staying largely in large city centres. They’re not dispersing, once they come into Canada they go into Toronto, they go into Winnipeg, they go into these large city centres, and they sit. They stay there.

“So we are planning on reducing it to 150,000. And that’s a conservative number. It might be a little higher but 150,000 is our target number, of which we are going to focus on economic immigrants, people who are coming here with skills, people who are coming here because they have jobs lined up. More than 50 per cent of that 150,000 will be economic immigrants. We will still do some reunification of family but that won’t be a priority, and we will still take in refugees should the need arise. But we’re not going to be throwing money at these things, we’re going to be focusing strictly on Canada. That’s why we’re the People’s Party of Canada, we strictly here focusing on Canadians.

“As far as economics go, we have to see how the free trade deal with the US goes. If it hasn’t been ratified at this point we’re probably going to have to work on retooling it. But we are planning on running a fairly free market, we are a libertarian party, So, free markets is what we’re about.”       

One issue on the minds of many voters in this election is government spending. Give us your thoughts on what the federal spending priorities should be?

“Canadians, plain and simple. As it stands right now the Liberals are treating Canadians as a wallet, which is not cool, but they’re also sending a large portion of it at least to foreign countries to other countries out of Canada where Canadians will not see a benefit. Our policy as we will be dealing with Canada first in fact we will not be doing any financial foreign aid. We are going to kibosh that for our first mandate. We will still help other countries should they run into problem with time and capital, so for instance if a country is having an issue when they need help, we won’t throw money at the problem but we are more than willing to come lend a hand in the way of people and so forth.

“But throwing your money, Canadians’ money, taxpayers’ money at a problem at a country outside of here, it doesn’t help Canadians, we are not going to do it. This will help us in order to make sure we hit our plan of making sure we get back to balance in two years, and then we’ll be able to do our bold our tax reform in the way of reducing income tax severely, because we’re going to also reduce how much money is going out of the country but we’re going to reduce government spending in the country as well. I think at this point it’s been demonstrated by the last few governments that they’ve gotten a little bit silly on their spending so we’re going to reign that back and going to reduce the size of government as well."

Besides these topics we just covered, what issues concern you the most in this election campaign in Battlefords-Lloydminster?

“Well, taxation is a big one, being that I am a tax preparer, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when the government charges as much as they do for the pleasure of working in Canada. I think reducing that is very important, it will free up a lot of money and save a lot of people enough money where they can actually save. Guys who make 70 grand a year will take to will save three grand a year in taxes, not including carbon tax, not including hanges to GST. Just on income tax alone these you can save $3,000 in tax.

I think you should stop the intersectionality that we’ve been dealing with based on identity politics. ‘Hey, let’s give you something special that nobody else is getting.’ For instance, some of the conservative plan is giving people tax breaks who send their kids to private high school. These are people who have money, but we’re giving them a $4,000 tax break, as a credit, which is 15 per cented out?

People who are homeschooled – this is a very small percentage of the population of Canada, but we’ve got a credit there. What about people who send their kids to public school? Send their kids to Catholic school or whatever other school boards there are in the province? 

…Giving every Canadian the same set of rights and rules is very important. I don’t think anybody should have any privileges over anyone else, to be fair, just because you happen to be a different colour or a different religion or having a different sexual preference. I think everybody should have the rights.

“Also freedom of speech is a big thing. Same thing goes with everybody should have the same rights. Compelled speech issue is a big issue, C-103 we are getting rid of, C-16 the same thing. There is still an issue with hate speech, obviously inciting violence is still a bad thing. But the target on that keeps moving. ‘I’m offended by what you’ve said even though it may not be offensive. So now we’ve got an issue.’ No, this is just ridiculous. So freedom of speech is very important for our party as well.

“Gun rights, another large one. Being this area is also very fairly high on crime, taking guns away from licensed owners does not help crime. People who are committing crimes will still get weapons illegally. We are also looking at property protection rights as well, so should you have an issue like the case we had a few years ago, where an individual comes onto your property armed and planned on stealing stuff, you have the ability to defend your property. After all police response times here are a little bit bad when you get out to the rural areas, as well cellular service is pretty bad.

“And finally cost of living is very important. The Liberal government and the NDPs are trying to force businesses to offer a service at a lower cost. We actually want to open the market to more competition. Right now, there’s no reason for the big five cellular companies – well, four plus two small ones – to get out of the ‘hey, here’s your $80 plan, we all offer the same thing.’

“Now if a company comes in from let’s say the US, pick random company, and says no, we’re going to offer it for $40, you’re going to start running into some real affordability issues with those other companies because they’re going to have to start reducing their prices, too, to stay competitive.”

Marcella Pedersen, NDP

The economy is always a major issue, and Battlefords-Lloydminster has large agricultural and oil and gas sectors. What are your priorities on the economy, and also, where do you stand on pipelines?

“My priority is climate change but that includes the environment, the economy and energy, so in a sense we can cover all of those…

One of the things the NDP wants to do is increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. In terms of the oil and gas sector, I think the plan is to phase it out, not maybe completely, but we’re coming up with 300,000 new green jobs, that’s our plan. Pipelines are approved if they pass the strength and review process, and that’s a big if because really they re increasing emissions and that’s not meeting our Kyoto targets. There’s a crisis out there and we have to do something about it, not just talk the talk.”  

Candidates share their views in live Q&A_2
Marcella Pedersen

A major issue in this election is the environment and climate change. Where do you stand on environmental policies and on the carbon tax?

“We won’t exempt massive polluters, they’re going to pay. The carbon tax is necessary to change our behavior, in my opinion. That might not be the way the party would say it but that’s how I would say it because, we can slow down, we can take less flights, etcetera.

“In terms of the environment, we have been living in a passive solar heated house for 35 years. I still have all my fingers and toes and we are money ahead because we haven’t paid heating bills to the extent that other people have paid for them. And I don’t understand why the building codes have been updated to reflect that kind of savings. And there again, it’s all the oil and gas telling you you’ve got to buy this oil, right?
And our focus is going to be on more public transportation, zero-emission vehicles – I’m ready to buy an electric car. It’s just I’m a little far from North Battleford so it’s got to be able to bring me in and out. So when that is available I’m going because I’m ready for a new car.

“We have to preserve the biodiversity. I’m really upset with the deforestation that’s going on around the word but also in Saskatchewan. And I don’t know how many people in Saskatchewan realize the boreal forest is being developed or plowed under. So I’m very concerned on that one. 

“And then in terms of the environment we have to look after the Indigenous peoples’ rights for consultation and their treaty rights respected, and that has not been happening." 

Like other countries, Canada is grappling with issues concerning international relations, including issues such as trade and immigration. In general, where do you stand on these issues?

“I think we have to respect UN recommendations. Sometimes I think trade actually interferes with our sovereignty. So as a general rule I haven’t seen how trade helps the little people. International trade helps corporations and so I am totally opposed to that kind of direction.

“In terms of trade, in regard to agriculture, it has done more harm than helped. We lost the Canadian Wheat Board. Supply management was given some of it away – I don’t know about chickens, but dairy especially gave some of their 20 per cent of their imports away. And that’s another thing that bothers me ­ 20 years ago, Canadians fought against RBST being introduced into our dairy cattle. It was a growth hormone, we fought against that and the government listened. Now we’re allowing 20 per cent imports in from God only knows where their regulations are on growth hormones, so are we getting growth hormones through the back door? That concerns me, because I work on food sovereignty and we are losing our food sovereignty.

“The NDP will protect supply management in future or in all trade negotiations, and we want more research for the benefit of the common public, not for the benefit of private corporations … basically, my overall platform is people before profit.”

“Canada could improve on their immigration policies. I’m not sure I like the way they choose temporary foreign workers, for one thing. But I have no problems with immigrating more people. If we’re going to be truly going to be multicultural then we’ve got to truly say what we mean. 

“As climate change increases and people that live around the world on the shorelines, their homes are going to be lost. They’re going to move to Canada where there’s this big open space. So we’ve got to be prepared for even more immigration as climate change increases.”

One issue on the minds of many voters in this election is government spending. Give us your thoughts on what the federal spending priorities should be?

“Priorities should be on climate change and making life more affordable. There’s many ways they can do that through the health care.

…The NDP platform is for medicare to be covered from head to toe including mental health. That’s, to me, a great way to go and making life more affordable.

“When it comes to spending, you can’t spend if you don’t have it. So there’s two sides of that equation, and where are we going to get all the money for all the things the NDP wants? It’s a question of priorities and choices. We are going to tax those who have a $20 million net worth and charge them one per cent tax. It’s a lot of money that would cover our health problems.

“The other thing is there’s so many tax evasions and loopholes that we are losing $25 billion dollars a year. The Conservatives and the Liberals, both of them, let their rich friends control the pocketbook and why are you supporting them? You should be looking after yourself in a way … the one per cent wealth tax would bring in $70 billion over 10 years.”

Besides these topics we just covered, what issues concern you the most in this election campaign in Battlefords-Lloydminster?

“I’m going to say respect for our First Nations people.

“We’re not giving them a chance, and we’re not respecting their treaty rights. They’re lacking funding on education, health care. They’re not getting drinking water. And then the crime issue – they get blamed for it and a lot of the time I think the oil patch people should be blamed. What causes crime is poverty and addictions. And unless you’re going to look at the long term and deal with those issues, we will always have crime. I know it’s a touchy subject in Battlefords, but I am all about building bridges between the two communities. Basically First Nations people want the same things that we want – respect, love, food, clothing, education, health. That’s it. I mean it’s so simple, basic.”  

 

 

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