The Williams Lake Tribune/Weekend Advisor reached out to federal candidates in the upcoming Oct. 19 election in the Cariboo-Prince George riding.
These are the last answers to five questions posed to candidates, which have been published leading up to the election.
Each candidate was given a 200-word limit per answer.
What if anything can an MP do to improve rural economies in places such as Williams Lake?
New Democratic Party candidate Trent Derrick
The NDP has announced a series of policy items to kickstart our economy.
A Tom Mulcair government will cut the small business tax rate from 11 to nine per cent, opening the door for businesses to hire more employees, buy more equipment, and spend money in their local economies.
We will also introduce an innovation tax credit, invest in forest product manufacturing facilities and expand promotion of Canadian wood product exports.
Independent candidate Sheldon Clare
I am a firm believer that governments don’t grow the economy, people do. But in order for people to grow their local economies, they must have the tools to do it.
Individually, our best tool at hand is our education combined with our experience.
As I’ve stated before, we need to allocate more resources to helping people access education so they can increase their skills for today’s fast changing economy.
As well we need to ensure that they have opportunities where they live to use their educations to add value to the economy.
But in a rural, Northern community, a serious problem arises when governments continue to download responsibilities but not the funding needed to meet them.
This applies to both economic and social issues, as municipal governments struggle to meet the demands ranging from aging infrastructure to homelessness.
Most municipalities do not have the tax base to properly meet these challenges, and so regional economies continue to shrink as costs go up and working age populations move elsewhere.
If I am elected, I will work for better allocation of resources for our region. As your MP I will listen to your ideas and take them to Ottawa.
Christian Heritage Party candidate Adam De Kroon
Rural ridings like ours are often ignored. An MP could be a loud voice and bring more government funding to local projects We need an MP who will be a strong voice for our region in Ottawa, I believe I am the person for that job.
Liberal Party candidate Tracy Calogheros
The primary barrier to our collective economic success is that we are operating in silos: Cultural, geographic, industrial, ecological, and governmental.
For the past decade the federal government has approached issues with a narrow, ideological focus and has ignored all other considerations. This is the 21st century. We must embrace a “triple bottom line” (social, environmental, fiscal) as we consider and proceed with responsible development.
We need to work together to find common goals to further our collective interests. One of the MP’s jobs is to facilitate those conversations. Industry and ecology are not bound by geo-political boundaries.
Neither can political ideologies or cultural differences be allowed to create barriers to effective collaboration. Rural communities are the economic engine of our country.
We provide the resources and the food. We provide the wilderness that defines us in international tourism. We are an integral part of what Canada is.
Our concerns must be heard. Our issues must be addressed. We must have a seat at the table where policies are being written.
By enhancing understanding, by building trust, and by providing federal funding where it’s appropriate and needed, a Liberal government will be a partner and a catalyst for community development.
Conservative Party candidate Todd Doherty
As a Member of Parliament, I can support a plan that looks to invest in rural infrastructure to help our communities access and create opportunities.
Early on, our Party announced that it would invest an additional $200,000 in rural high speed internet to help our communities connect to the rest of the world.
The digital economy offers all our businesses, big and small, access to new markets and new opportunities. Rural communities also benefit from the development of our natural resources.
Responsible resource development creates jobs while benefiting small business.
I want to ensure that our regional partners are aware of all opportunities and that they can take advantage of them, and I plan on being a member.
Green Party candidate Richard Jaques
I would be the first the reject the Trans Pacific Trade deal being currently negotiated, it places our small/large farm producers in direct competition with multi-national corporations with little or no protection from the Canadian Government.
This would be devastating to the local farm economies in much the same way the Canadian Wheat Board’s demise hurt prairie grain producers.
My personal philosophy of “Buy Canadian and buy local” will be my plan moving forward to safe guard the local Williams Lake producers.
Apolitical candidate Gordon Campbell
It is too bad but a federal MP has little if any authority and zero spending power to improve or make any sort of deal about almost anything, let alone a rural economy such as Williams Lake’s and area.
First things first. Negotiate your own hand-to-mouth financial recipe because things cannot remain any longer as they stand today.
Your accumulated prosperity, which was and is dependent no longer on the 700 tonnes of gold they master-minded in a global recall of world currency, has been turned from a monetary system into a decimal point system.
The market is regulated to pay huge dividends based on tax scams, manipulations, rebates, AirMiles, points, gift cards, free stuff, etc. etc. etc.
Freedom of thought and association is what is at risk here in the Cariboo-Prince George riding and there is nothing your MP can do.
What is my apolitical mandate? It is deal or no deal that is the question being asked here on Oct. 19.
Unless there is full illumination and transparency of the “heathen” bar code then it’s no deal for us and yet the effect on all of us is negative.