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Five questions: Grande Prairie-Mackenzie candidates

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In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, MyGrandePrairieNow.com posed the same five questions to each candidate in the Grande Prairie – Mackenzie riding. Their answers have been reproduced verbatim below, save for cuts to keep to the roughly 150 word limit.

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Q: What are you going to do to ensure the riding has a voice in Ottawa?

Erin Alyward, New Democratic Party
No response

Doug Burchill, People’s Party of Canada

The values within the People’s Party are inherent to ensuring Grande Prairie-Mackenzie and all ridings across Canada are treated with respect and fairness. Unlike the mainstream parties, all members in our party are allowed to vote the will of the constituents without repercussions. I will hold town hall meetings and various other communications with the people and actually listen. Your voices will be heard in Ottawa.

Ken Munro, Liberal Party of Canada
The first thing I am going to do is ask people what their priorities are. I think this is the place to be in Alberta—it has a diversified economy with agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, the service industry, a university and hospital. It has a wise Indigenous population who want to participate fully in developing the region. This is the basis for building a viable and vibrant future. I will take the concerns of this region to the Liberal caucus in Ottawa and form alliances with other members who are promoting similar projects. I will also indicate how these initiatives will be beneficial, not only to the north-west region of Alberta, but to the province and Canada as a whole. I will also work with my provincial and municipal and Indigenous counterparts to promote our developmental priorities.

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Shelley Termuende, Green Party of Canada
No response

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party of Canada

I have never hesitated to stand up for Peace Country residents in Ottawa over the past 13 years. I am proud of the people who call our region home. As a member of the leadership team of the Conservative Caucus, I look forward to continuing to represent our communities in our caucus and Parliament.

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Q: What are the most pressing issues you see facing the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding, and what should the federal government do first to address them?

Doug Burchill, People’s Party of Canada

Many issues both fiscally and socially are destroying the fabric of our society affecting the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie area. These issues have developed by decades of Liberal and Conservative policies and the LibCons narrative. The first issues to address are: Allowing our oil and gas industry to grow with pipelines and repeal bill C-48 & C-69, privatize Trans Mountian Pipeline, approve the building of pipelines across Canada utilizing the Constitution to reassert federal jurisdiction over pipeline construction and counter anti-oil and anti-pipeline propaganda from radical environmentalists and foreign foundations. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, reject climate extremism, reject economy killing carbon taxes and focus on solutions to real environmental issues. Restore free speech and stop political parties from bypassing the criminal code to criminalize speech of their choice by repealing bill C-16 and motion M-103.

Ken Munro, Liberal Party of Canada

The main issue facing people is lack of work. Félix Leclerc, the songwriter-singer from Quebec wrote a song entitled “100,000 ways to kill a man”. In this song he outlined various ways people kill one another, but he said, the best way to kill a person is to make that person unemployed! I believe him. Without work, people lose their sense of worth and value to society. As a solution, I would encourage the federal government to create permanent jobs through infrastructure renewal and development. A second way is to continue to support post-secondary education and to encourage apprenticeships. A third way is to work with the local population to access federal funds for the development of businesses in the region.

Shelley Termuende, Green Party of Canada
No response

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party of Canada

Many Peace Country families, workers and seniors have fallen behind over the past four years and are struggling to make ends meet. Two-thirds of Canadians feel that they either can’t pay their bills – or feel that they have nothing left over at the end of the month after they do. Almost half of all Canadian households report being less than $200 a month away from insolvency at month’s end. We have a plan to help Peace Country residents finally get ahead.

Erin Alyward, New Democratic Party
No response

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Q: Why are you the right person to represent this region in Ottawa?

Ken Munro, Liberal Party of Canada:

I believe I can help people bring hope back into their lives. This region is where the future in Alberta lies. I encourage young people to move to this area to realize their dreams. My experience of working in government and at the University of Alberta in teaching and administrative positions has given me insight into how to help people realize their goals. I worked in Ottawa as Executive Assistant to the “Alberta Minister” from 1980 until mid-1983. During my teaching career at the University of Alberta, I came into contact with many students from the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie area who told me of their personal dreams for the future. My administrative positions from Associate Dean of Social Science and Academic Dean of St. Joseph’s College have given me valuable experience dealing with bureaucracy. With this knowledge, I believe I can help constituents realize their goals.

Shelley Termuende, Green Party of Canada
No response

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party of Canada

It has been my privilege to represent residents of the Peace Country in Ottawa over the past 13 years. I was born here, raised on a local farm, built a business here and Michelle and I chose to raise our family here in the Peace Country. My personal connection to our region has allowed me to understand the realities and the challenges that Peace Country families face. As the only candidate who lives in the riding, I believe I am well equipped to understand the struggles that many in our region are experiencing. By listening to my neighbours and constituents I am better equipped to understand the challenges, aspirations and potential of our community as I serve as your voice in Ottawa.

Erin Alyward, New Democratic Party
No response

Doug Burchill, People’s Party of Canada

I am a father – a husband – a son – an Albertan – a Canadian. I know from experience what it means to be responsible for the people I love: to work long days and long nights, to plan and come what may and have people dependant on my actions and me. My love for the people of Grande Prairie – Mackenzie parallels this sentiment. We are at a crossroads politically; the People’s Party will give this country what it takes to give generations after us the means to lead lives that echo our Canadian values without saddling them with increased financial hardship. The People’s Party will give the forgotten men and women of Grande Prairie-Mackenzie an opportunity to have their voices heard, after decades of silence. With over 30 years of experience and a proven track record in the private sector, as a Professional Engineer (retired), business executive, business owner…

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Q: What should the federal government do to ensure economic stability and growth in both this riding and Alberta as a whole?

Shelley Termuende, Green Party of Canada
No response

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party of Canada

Alberta’s long-term prosperity depends on accessing new markets for Alberta oil and gas. Albertans deserves the maximum value for the high-quality energy that we produce. The world wants to buy Canadian energy but we need new pipelines to get our products to new markets in Canada and around the world.

Andrew Scheer has a 6-point plan to get these important projects built:
– Cancel the carbon tax.
– Repeal Bill C-69, the No-More Pipelines Bill.
– End the ban on shipping traffic in British Columbia.
– Establish clear time lines and get Indigenous consultations right up front.
– Ban foreign-funded advocacy groups from disrupting our approvals process.
– Assert federal jurisdiction when necessary.

Our government will also develop a dedicated, coast-to-coast corridor specifically set aside for energy infrastructure projects. Rather than have industry submit complicated route proposals for every new transmission line and pipeline project, we could have a single corridor…

Erin Alyward, New Democratic Party
No response

Doug Burchill, People’s Party of Canada

Economic stability and growth in Alberta requires a more welcoming approach to investors to enhance the business climate. This can be accomplished by reducing overall tax rates, eliminating unnecessary expenditures such as corporate welfare (bailouts of failing companies, regional development grants, conditional loans and loan guarantees with an implicit subsidy, tax credits, etc) and reducing the equalization payments to encourage have not provinces to develop their resources.

Ken Munro, Liberal Party of Canada

I will focus on the needs of this riding. We must begin with our strengths, our diversified economy. I will encourage pipeline construction to tidewater such as the idea of building a line from here to Churchill, Manitoba. I will ask for some of the 2 billion trees the Liberal government promises so that our children can plant them along a highway into towns and thus make a positive contribution to climate change. I will encourage the federal government to establish Chairs in our new University and also to make Grande Prairie the regional hospital for this northern area. I will work to transport our agricultural and forestry products to market. I would also take an aggressive approach to tourism anchored in the dinosaur collection here. As a distribution centre for the north, maybe a high speed train should run from Grande Prairie to Edmonton for freight.

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Q: What do you think should be done to fight climate change in Alberta, and what changes can be implemented locally to help achieve those goals?

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party of Canada

As an environmental policy, the carbon tax is a failure of epic proportions. It makes virtually no contribution to the global fight against climate change. And it only makes life more expensive for Canadian families and small businesses, especially here in the Peace Country. Canada needs an environment plan rather than a tax plan!

We should all be concerned about climate change – about the kind of planet we will leave to future generations. Our plan is built on three guiding principles:

-Green technology, not taxes.

-A cleaner and greener natural environment.

-Taking the climate change fight global.

This plan is the most comprehensive environmental platform ever put forward by a political party in Canada. Sixty pages and fifty-five specific, realistic, and achievable policy commitments. Under the Conservative plan, it will not be free to pollute – and unlike the Liberal scheme, there will be no sweetheart deals for anybody…

Erin Alyward, New Democratic Party
No response

Doug Burchill, People’s Party of Canada

Given the uncertainties over the scientific reasons for climate change and the certainties about the huge costs of measures designed to fight it, there is no compelling reason to jeopardize our prosperity with more government interventions.

Ken Munro, Liberal Party of Canada

I agree with the federal government’s climate change strategy, including putting a price on pollution. We will have a federally imposed carbon tax because the present provincial government did away with the Alberta plan. We will receive most of the money back and the remainder will be used to develop cleaner energy sources. I also think that school children can plant a row of trees on a highway leading into towns called the environmental way as a positive act in fighting pollution or develop a park in which children plant the trees provided by the federal Liberal government. I would also look to local expertise with strong Indigenous input, to develop a made in Grande Prairie-Mackenzie solution to our problem with a focus on balancing the economy with environmental protection.

Shelley Termuende, Green Party of Canada
No response

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