October 15, 2015 - 3:03 PM
We don’t endorse any single candidate. Our comments on these answers are an assessment of whether the candidate gave a candid answer as we asked for (REAL) or relied on party platforms, leadership or attacks on rivals for their answers (PUPPET).
To understand this post, please read this first.
OUR TAKE: By this questionnaire, this is a coat-tail candidate hoping to win a seat based on his party. By parroting the party on four-plus-one of seven questions, you can ignore Stephen Fuhr and go directly to the Liberal party platform.
1. The number one concern I hear from voters is:
— No response
OUR TAKE: Head scratcher here.... PUPPET
2. As an MP, what could you do to ensure zebra/quagga mussels stay out of B.C. water systems?
Protecting the Okanagan from invasive mussels is challenging, and uses strategies that require cooperation of all levels of government. Watercrafts on the lake are the likeliest way for the species to get in, and fisheries and watercraft regulation fall under federal jurisdiction.
The plan should incorporate strategies for prevention, early detection of new invaders, and rapid response to eradicate any invasion. Prevention starts with public education for all boaters and watercraft users, and information about invasive species and keeping the hull clean is already part of Transport Canada’s safety manual. Public service announcements and media engagement are also key in getting that message out. Beyond that, a border inspection system for watercraft entering Canada needs to be comprehensive, and inspections along known corridors of spread is important.
The Lake needs to be monitored around points of entry and protected areas, particularly high traffic areas like our marinas. Federal inspectors should work with local stakeholders to ensure that happens.
If invasive mussels are detected here then there needs to be a rapid response for eradication, including emergency release of federal funds to do so if necessary.
OUR TAKE: The candidate shows an understanding of the issues including its importance and identifies good roles by an MP and a federal government for action. REAL
3. Do you personally believe in criminal penalties for recreational marijuana use?
Marijuana prohibition has been abject failure by any measure, and recent medical regulations have been burdensome on patients who require alternate dosage forms and strains but cannot access those at a reasonable price. Thus we continue to have an illicit market that largely cannot be regulated or taxed and it clogs up our already burdened legal system. A majority of Canadians want to see marijuana legalized.
The Liberal Party will pass laws that legalize, restrict, and regulate marijuana. This gives us an opportunity to protect our children by limiting access, as with tobacco and alcohol; ensure public safety with quality controls; free up our cops, courts and jails; surface the black market trade in marijuana into the economy; and prevent the proceeds of that trade from funding criminal activities.
OUR TAKE: The candidate tells us what the party may do if elected but tells us nothing about his own beliefs, as we asked. PUPPET
4. Name one example of an issue you disagree with your party on. How would you reconcile that disagreement?
Kelowna-Lake Country has been a conservative riding for over 40 years. The evolution of parties on both the left and right of centre have lead us to a situation where the centre left is fractured and the centre right is consolidated. Acknowledging and addressing this is necessary to bring about Real Change to Kelowna-Lake Country. As a result I have agreed to work directly with the Green Party EDA on their issues in Parliament they in turn nominated a candidate who ran on a platform to withdraw his nomination and support myself and Liberal Party. Partnerships like this are necessary to address deficiencies in our first past the post system and should be considered on a national scale.
OUR TAKE: That is a pretty neat situation you describe. Unfortunately, it entirely bypassed the question we asked. PUPPET
5. Do you believe the federal government is doing enough to deal with mental health in our communities, in our courts and in our prisons? What can it do better?
Mental health is both an important direct healthcare issue and more broadly a social challenge influencing communities across Canada. Education and broad based awareness are both keys to unlocking some of the issues. I can honestly say that it is encouraging that the mental health narrative has increased as a result of private groups such as Bell's "Let's Talk".
The unfortunate truth is our past Conservative government over the last decade has been largely absent on all health care issues including mental health.
A Liberal government will call a federal-provincial meeting to reach a long-term agreement on health care funding. In addition to reengaging in areas where there is direct federal responsibility—including health promotion, support to caregivers, and First Nations’ health and mental health — we are committed to meeting with the Premiers to talk about how to strengthen health care.
OUR TAKE: Yes, health care is undoubtedly an issue, but this question is specifically about mental health. We appreciate what your party may do, but that wasn't our question either. PUPPET
6. Do you believe the federal government is doing enough to help veterans? What can it do better?
The Conservatives have disgracefully mishandled the Veteran Affairs Portfolio. The evidence for this is seen locally with the closing of Kelowna’s Veteran Affairs Office and nationally where they left $1.13 billion in death and disability benefits unspent over the last eight years. After nearly a decade of cuts and neglect, the overwhelming majority of our service men and women feel disrespected and abandoned.
A Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau has committed to living up to our obligation to Canada’s veterans and their families, and ensuring that veterans in the Okanagan, and right across the country, can confidently look forward to the future they are owed by a grateful nation. This includes reopening Veteran Affairs Offices, the option of a disability pension or a lump sum payment, expanding Veteran Affairs service staff, increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit, establishing an Education Benefit and increasing the Survivors Pension. More details are available at www.realchange.ca
OUR TAKE: Just one answer that doesn't take a swing at rivals would be nice. And again, we asked for the candidates' own thoughts, not another opportunity to pat your leader on the back for promises. PUPPET
7. Do you believe a minority government can be effective?
There are both benefits and consequences to the formation of a minority government. On balance a minority government can be more responsive to the views of individual members of parliament, more transparent as the level of communication between parties must be elevated and ultimately more accountable for its actions if it is to remain in power. If those principles are respected then a minority government has been shown to be effective.
OUR TAKE: Good answer. REAL
BONUS Will you declare your support for increasing openness and transparency in government and commit to interviews by the news media once elected? Yes or No.
A Liberal Government has committed to making transparency a fundamental principle across the Government of Canada. This includes more free votes in Parliament, improving the Access to Information Act, opening access to Government Data and the freedom to engage in debate and dialogue that importantly includes interviews with news media.
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