Ahead of 43rd federal election, the Peninsula News Review asked your candidates what they believe the biggest issues are facing the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding and Canada as a nation. Here are their responses.
Ron Broda (PPC)
My family and I have lived on the Saanich Peninsula since 1991. We moved here because of the quality of life. I have worked in law enforcement for 35 years, 28 as a police officer and seven as a Border Services officer. I retired early in April 2018 specifically to run in this election.
Governments cannot continue to spend money that we don’t have! Protection of our environment, economy, national security and public safety are serious issues requiring our constant attention. However, the major issue facing us today is trust.
We have moved from the “Information Age” into the “Misinformation Age.” Few people know who or what to believe anymore. Who can we trust to tell us the truth and lead effectively?
A paralyzing degree of political correctness stifles our free speech and rational discussion of major issues. People are afraid to say what they really think or believe. Solutions to issues can only be found with open, honest and respectful discussion.
I left the Conservative Party when they stopped being conservative. Who could I vote for in this election? None of the above? Others must feel the same way too. PPC is the only option for real principled change!
David Busch (Conservative)
Having spent the last year talking to the residents of Saanich-Gulf Islands, the major issues of concern are the cost of living, access to health care, and the environment. These are the same issues Canadians from coast to coast are worried about, and I will advance in Ottawa.
Forty-five per cent of Canadians have less than $200 left over at the end of the month. We have targeted our tax cuts to help those who need it the most, the lowest tax bracket, seniors, and young families. We will release surplus federal land for high density housing to help increase the housing supply and make renting/owning a home more affordable.
Family physicians are the backbone of our health care system. They keep us healthy and catch problems early. This makes for patient better outcomes, and is less expensive. Regrettably, one in two Canadians do not have a family physician. This is putting lives at risk, driving up costs, and must be corrected.
All Canadians want to make sure our environment is protected. We have a detailed plan to ensure Canada has an active role domestically to meet our Paris goals, and internationally to combat climate change.
Elizabeth May (Green)
The answer to both questions is: the climate crisis.
What parliament has declared a national “climate emergency” is experienced locally as “climate emergencies.” North Saanich homeowners worry about sea level rise and erosion of property. Everywhere in the riding people are affected by the health impacts of forest fires. People worry about the increase in major storms, like the one that hit the Gulf Islands on December 20, 2018.
As a nation, we are clobbered nearly daily by extreme weather events. And we know it will continue and worsen. Dramatic and meaningful action is needed to ensure the survival of human civilization through the lifetime of our children.
Next up is the affordability crisis. Housing is out of reach. Student debt is crushing. Gaps in health care leave us with a family doctor shortage that has reached crisis proportions.
Fortunately, we can make life more affordable while going off fossil fuels. Pharmacare, abolishing tuition, universal childcare and dental for low income Canadians will all help.
Fundamentally, we must act on the imperative to arrive at true justice and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
These challenges are opportunities to build an even better country.
Sabina Singh (NDP)
In this riding we have met Ocean’s Legacy on Mayne Island, Sea Change Conservancy on Pender, attended markets and Pride on Salt Spring Island and worked at Tetayut creek with Pennisula Streams. We went to the Geronimo canoe races and the inter-tribal Yellow Wolf Pow-Wow. It is obvious everywhere that people are scared about the climate emergency but it’s clear that many intelligent people have been working on this for a long time and they need federal government support.
Transit and affordability are dire and people need to live and work in eco-friendly and sustainable ways. New Democrats will expand zero-emission transit built in Canada, have Indigenous leadership deeply involved with climate change strategy, re-train and employ people who need it, and extend healthcare and pharmaceuticals for all.
Our climate problem is global, every country and every party needs to address this. In order to bring everyone along on this fight to help our planet, we need to bring everyone together. To do that we will need diplomacy and a strong face on the world stage. Saanich Gulf-Islands should be a leader in Canada and Canada should be a leader in the world.
Ryan Windsor (Liberal)
As mayor of Central Saanich, a volunteer and a parent in our community, I have had the opportunity to hear first hand some of the biggest challenges facing our community. I know for young families, seniors and students in Saanich–Gulf Islands, affordability and the ability to live and move around in our community is a top priority. Whether that’s the cost of housing, expanding public transit or being able to access a family doctor in our community.
My time as a stream keeper has also taught me just how important protecting our environment is. This includes taking meaningful action to fighting climate change, protect wild salmon and build a cleaner economy.
As a nation, I think we need to address three main priorities – these being affordability for middle class families, moving forward with real progress to fight the climate crisis and continuing to build an inclusive and fair society that we can all be proud of.
Election day is Oct. 21 with advance polls open Oct. 11 to 14.