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South Okanagan-West Kootenay: NDP candidate Richard Cannings

Image Credit: Contributed
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: Richard Cannings has a strong grasp of local issues and while he appears unlikely to challenge his own party, he seems focussed on the future, refusing to be defined by the perceived mistakes of previous governments. If you are thinking NDP, the party platform will be important and a strong candidate like Cannings, with six out of seven real answers, may just cement your vote.

1. The number one concern I hear from voters is:

Concern about the current direction of the Conservative government and lack of protection for the environment.

OUR TAKE: Sounds legit. REAL

2. As an MP, what could you do to ensure zebra/quagga mussels stay out of B.C. water systems?

To ensure that invasive mussels stay out of BC we have to support the organizations that are working on invasive species such as the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Okanagan Similkameen Invasive Species Society. Both these organizations get funding from Environment Canada. Federal summer students employment programs are also important so that we can set up stations to inspect boats coming in from the US and Alberta. I know and support the important work of local conservation organizations and would work hard to find annual sources of funding.

OUR TAKE: A solid take on the issues and some ideas on how to support local initiatives. REAL

3. Do you personally believe in criminal penalties for recreational marijuana use? 


OUR TAKE: That's... an answer... REAL

4. Name one example of an issue you disagree with your party on. How would you reconcile that disagreement?

Before I put my name forward as a nomination candidate, I read the NDP policy book carefully and was completely comfortable with it.

OUR TAKE: Really? Not one thing? That's hard to believe. 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?

Canadians should have access to high quality, effective mental health treatment where and when they need it. Mental health services, which are the responsibility of the provinces, are fragmented. It is estimated that nearly 1.5 million young Canadians who are affected by mental illness do not receive necessary care. The New Democrats are advocating establishment of a Mental Health Innovation Fund with $25 million each year. The fund will have a special emphasis on youth and high-risk populations. It’s been shown that a high proportion of homeless individuals and people with addictions have mental health problems, this spills over to people in prisons.  Effective mental health and addictions programs are desperately needed in correctional facilities which are a federal responsibility. The Canadian Mental Health Association has excellent recommendations about treatment in prisons, including stopping the use of solitary confinement for severely mentally ill individuals.

OUR TAKE: A solid grasp of the issue in his own words. Reciting the platform is appropriate in this case. REAL

6. Do you believe the federal government is doing enough to help veterans? What can it do better?

We will reopen discussions on the new Veterans Charter to ensure that our veterans, especially those who have been disabled with injuries, have adequate pensions and other services.  We would also reopen the veterans service offices that were closed by the Conservatives.  Many veterans have returned from Afghanistan and other overseas missions with post-traumatic stress disorder—in fact more vets have committed suicide since returning that died in combat in Afghanistan.  We must give these people the care and supports they need, the NDP would invest over $400 million in a program that would provide effective mental health care for these veterans.

OUR TAKE: The candidate again returns to party platform but says it in his own words. One short, but not gratuitous reference to rivals. REAL

7. Do you believe a minority government can be effective?

Yes definitely. A Liberal minority government under Lester Pearson with the NDP brought in Canada’s health care plan and pension plan.

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.

Yes. Ignoring media requests and stalling on access to information requests has been one of the worst traits of the Conservative Government under Harper. Scientists, public servants and politicians must be allowed to talk about research and the work of government. It is in the interests of all Canadian to have more transparency.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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