Garth Frizzell is the Liberal Party of Canada candidate in the Cariboo-Prince George riding. We asked the candidates four questions, here are his answers.
What is your vision for a pandemic recovery?
As Canada’s economy roars back after the pandemic, we will be strategic and smart in our choices. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the Canadian industry and services markets greener, more inclusive and competitive in world markets.
There’s still a lot to do to finish the fight against COVID-19, and we have a lot of work ahead to unlock home ownership for the middle class. At the same time, we need to ensure that better health care and childcare is available to everyone who needs it.
I’ve worked in economic development in Northern B.C. and seen how effective programs can position our local businesses to be more competitive.
In the last 18 months, we’ve seen that businesses need to be able to seek customers online in a way they never have before, and we need our local businesses resilient enough to on a global scale.
We will be paying serious attention to our climate. The Liberal plan is the only serious plan for getting Canada where it needs to be, including cutting pollution in heavy industry, ending plastic waste and protecting more of our nature.
The Liberal plan is the only comprehensive plan to bring Canada roaring back after the pandemic.
What will you do as a federal government to increase housing affordability for everyone?
The Liberal platform directly spells out a plan to unlock home ownership for the middle class. It’s a thorough set of actions that are built on previous successes.
We will Introduce a new rent-to-own program to help make it easier for renters to get on the path towards home ownership while renting. It includes $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit, and co-op partners.
We will double the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, from $5,000 to $10,000, which will put $1,500 in your pocket to make a home purchase a little bit easier.
At the same time, we’ll reduce the price charged by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on mortgage insurance by 25%. For a typical homebuyer, this will save $6,100.
In addition, a re-elected Liberal government will increase supply of housing, and implement measures to protect homeowners against speculators and to protect your rights as a home-buyer.
What impact will climate change have on the Cariboo-Prince George riding, and what will your party do to combat those effects?
We all know the devastating impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle, and the wildfires since 2017. A changing climate hit Cariboo-Prince George hard.
The Liberal Climate plan is the only serious plan to get our region where we need to be, fighting climate change. The plan is receiving independent confirmation, with people like Andrew Weaver, the former leader of B.C.’s Green Party, calling it the Liberal Climate Plan.
“It is the only credible, science-aligned climate plan put forward by any political party at the federal level to date,” Weaver said. I agree with him.
We will train 1,000 new community-based firefighters to ensure we are ready for future fire seasons. We will work with the province to provide firefighters with the equipment they need to fight fires and stay safe, like Canadian-made planes to increase provincial aerial firefighting capacity.
Liberals will support home retrofits and upgrades to protect against extreme weather, develop flood maps for higher risk areas, and take action to protect homeowners who are at high risk of flooding and can’t secure adequate insurance, through a low-cost national flood insurance program.
We will finalize Canada’s first-ever National Adaptation Strategy for Climate Change by the end of 2022, and ensure a climate lens is integrated throughout federal decision-making.
What concrete efforts should Canada be making toward reconciliation with Indigenous people?
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed fundamental gaps in our society. Challenges that existed before the pandemic remain.
These are especially felt by Indigenous peoples who face overcrowded housing, lack of access to health services, and systemic discrimination.
We will confront the legacy of residential schools, by continuing work to build a national monument to honour residential school survivors and all the children who were taken from their families and communities.
The recent discovery of unmarked graves of children has shone a stark light on the legacy of colonialism. We must work to address these difficult issues and move forward on the path of reconciliation.
Additionally, we commit an additional $1.4 billion for a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy with First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit, expanding on a recent commitment of $600 million over five years.
We will continue our work to eliminate all clean long-term drinking water advisories. We will make any investments necessary to eliminate all remaining advisories. And we commit to protecting the wellbeing of Indigenous children and families.
A re-elected Liberal government will take action to confront systemic racism against Indigenous peoples especially in the justice system and health care.
We will launch an Indigenous Urban, Rural and Northern-Housing Strategy.
I’m limited to 200 words [for each answer], and there is so much more. I urge you to see the Liberal platform in its entirety. Visit me at www.garthfrizzell.com.