Clockwise from left to right: Chris Warkentin, Saba Mossagizi, James Friesen, Dylan Thompson, Reagan Johnston, the new Grande Prairie - Mackenzie riding
In the days leading up to the federal election on October 19, we will be publishing the answers to questions posed by 2day FM to the candidates running in the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding. The responses are listed in alphabetical order and are unedited. They have not been fact checked and 2day FM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.
Q: According to Statistics Canada, Alberta had the second highest population growth in Canada since 2011. What does your party plan to do to alleviate the pressures that growth puts on social programs and housing?
James Friesen, Green Party
A: As a federal party we would commit to turning over to Municipal government 1% of the GST. We would also have a fee and dividend carbon tax. A percent of which could also be shared with Municipal government. Currently Municipal government is asked to maintain 100% of the Infrastructure yet receives only 8% of tax. Most importantly we will sit down with Provincial Government, Municipal Government, and work out ways of better revenue sharing between all levels of Government.
Reagan Johnston, Liberal Party
The official platform of the Liberal Party is that “we will make it easier for Canadians to find an affordable place to call home”. Federal leadership in housing will be renewed starting start with a “ten-year investment in social infrastructure”. This includes investments such as removal of the GST on new capital investments encouraging construction of affordable rental housing which will include housing facilities for seniors. A Liberal government will also promote financing to support construction of new and affordable rental housing through directing the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing. “We will modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan to allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to buy a house without tax penalty”. The plan also includes federal lands and buildings being inventoried having some made available, at low cost, for affordable housing in communities where a need has been established.
“We will make home care more available, prescription drugs more affordable, and mental health care more accessible.” A Liberal government will consult with provinces and territories and work on a new Health Accord which will provide long-term funding with an immediate commitment of $3 billion over four years to home care services. As stated in the official platform, a Liberal government will make the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit more accessible to those caring for loved ones at home. A Liberal government will improve access to necessary prescription medications which will involve the purchase of drugs in bulk reducing the cost to the Canadian government and making them more affordable for Canadians.
A Liberal government will restore the long-form census to ensure that decisions are made using the best and most up-to-date data available. The long-form census “gives communities the information they need to best serve Canadians”.
Saba Mossagizi, NDP
This is a problem all growing region faces. We must make more of an attempt for the Federal and Provincial bodies to work together when it comes to funding especially when it comes to infrastructure.
Dylan Thompson, Libertarian Party
A: The Libertarian Party of Canada would help return the housing market to an affordable level by addressing the cheap credit that’s fueling our current housing bubble and would like to see social programs return to their historic providers such as community organizations, local groups and churches. We would recommend opening up social programs like education and healthcare among others to private enterprise to alleviate the pressures.
Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party
Mr. Warkentin did not submit a response to this question by the deadline.