Here’s who’s running in the riding

A Q&A with candidates in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country

Voters go to the polls Oct. 21 in what will be just the second election for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country since a realignment severed the Powell River area and added it to the riding of North Island.

The riding remains both demographically and geographically diverse, and includes the communities of Gibsons, Sechelt, Pender Harbour, West Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Bowen Island.

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Recent electoral history has shown the riding is a potential swing seat.

John Reynolds was MP from 1997 to 2006 as a Conservative, Reform and Alliance member. Blair Wilson won the riding for the Liberals in 2006, but was kicked out of the Liberal caucus and sat as an independent and then ran as a Green in 2008 when John Weston of the Conservatives won the first of his two terms.

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones took the seat for the Liberals in 2015, winning 54.6 per cent of the vote.

Voter turnout in the riding in 2015 was 73.7 per cent, reflecting a national turnout that was the highest since 1993.

Elections Canada says the number of voters in the riding this election is 93,938, an increase of more than 3,000 from 2015. It also said there were a higher number of advance voters this year than there were in 2015.

Voters in the riding are older than average, with a median age of 46. Seniors (65 and older) make up almost 22 per cent of the population.

Households in this riding are also richer than average. The median total income of households was $75,449 in 2015.

You can hear Coast Reporter Radio's roundup of all-candidates meetings at www.coastreporter.net/audio. Our individual interviews with the main candidates are at the end of their Q&As.

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Robert (Doug) Bebb
Robert (Doug) Bebb

PEOPLE'S PARTY OF CANADA

Name: Robert (Doug) Bebb

Age: 62

Residence in riding? 
Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change? 
Withdraw from Paris Accord and abandon unrealistic greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Stop sending billions of dollars to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions. Abolish the Liberal government’s carbon tax and leave it to provincial governments to adopt programs to reduce emissions if they want to.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding? 
Substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees Canada accepts every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on economic and other circumstances. This will reduce pressure on housing prices as well as lower medical wait times and reduce school overcrowding. 

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Appoint a Minister of Internal Trade whose sole responsibility will be to conduct studies, raise public awareness, counteract the influence of special interests that benefit from interprovincial barriers, and put pressure on provincial governments to get rid of them.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it? 
Get rid of the deficit in two years through spending cuts and fiscal prudence. Spending cuts will include: corporate welfare ($5 billion to $10 billion), foreign development aid ($5 billion), CBC ($1 billion), equalization payments, and funding for programs that are provincial or municipal responsibilities.

What would be your top personal priority if elected? 
Repeal any existing legislation or regulation curtailing free speech on the Internet and prevent the reinstatement of Section 13 of Canadian Human Rights Act. Repeal C-16 and M-103. Withhold federal funding from any post-secondary institution shown to be violating freedom of expression of its students or faculty.

Candidate’s website: bebb2019ppc.ca
Twitter: @DougBebb
Facebook: robert.bebb.7359

 

 

Terry Grimwood
Terry Grimwood

INDEPENDENT

Name: Terry Grimwood

Age: 67

Residence in riding? 
Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change?
A floating bridge to Sunshine Coast. PEI’s Confederation Bridge yearly replaces the ferry service that caused 16 million litres of fuel and the release of 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Convert pleasure boats to electric/hydrogen fuels. Airplanes converted to electric. Support a terra power program.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
Encourage Canada’s pension funds to provide mortgage money to build housing for seniors, students, and families. We have the talented builders. We have the land. We have the architects. Let’s invest our pension funds in our communities.

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Build a floating bridge to Sunshine Coast. All concrete construction should use the carbon cure method. We will not meet our climate goals without one.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
Avaricious pension fund leadership ($5.2 million salary). Pension funds: Eighty nine per cent of Canadian pension funds are presently invested offshore – $700 billion to $800 billion that could be working in Canada, almost a trillion dollars invested outside of Canada.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
Making sure that Canadians force our pension funds to invest in Canada. Believe in Canada. Almost a trillion dollars that could be building Canada.

Candidate’s website: https://canada-fresh.ca/
Twitter: N/A
Facebook: N/A

 

Gordon Jeffrey
Gordon Jeffrey

RHINOCEROS PARTY

Name: Gordon Jeffrey

Age: 32

Residence in riding?
Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change?
Strict packaging laws to shift pressure from customers to companies and encourage eco-friendly packaging, overhaul of recycling programs to prevent our plastic from being incinerated overseas, massive fines for illegal dumping, and tax rebates for large home garden plots.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
I support a first-time homebuyers’ tax credit, providing incentives to build affordable housing (not dormitory-style housing for temporary foreign workers), and a steep increase in the foreign buyers tax.

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Increased funding toward public transportation. More efficient and increased services will result in increased ridership.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
Corporatism running rampant. I will attempt to crack down on the skirting of tax laws and abuse of foreign tax havens, remove deferred prosecution options recently weaseled into legislation, increase corporate criminal liability, and stop any and all bailouts.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
Restoration of faith in Canadian democracy, accountability of its active participants, and non-partisan representation of the people. I want lobbying and pay-for-play politics banned in all forms, increased penalties for corruption, increased investigative powers to root out corruption, and electoral reform.

Candidate’s website: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Facebook: facebook.com/BCRhinoParty

 

Gabrielle Loren
Gabrielle Loren

CONSERVATIVE PARTY

Name: Gabrielle Loren

Age: 58

Residence in riding? 
No. I lived 53 years in the riding, but currently live on the North Shore [North Vancouver].

How will you and your party address climate change?
Investigate and apply green technology to reduce carbon emission: green technology investment and construction; energy saving performance contracting for building green homes; national energy corridor project, minimizing environmental impact as clean energy is distributed; green home tax credit; and green public transit.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
Use federal lands to build a variety of housing, remove the stress test from mortgage renewals, increase the amortization period, and investigate money laundering in the industry. I will advocate for tax credits for purpose-built rentals, and promote Conservative plan tax credits (green home, universal tax).

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Prioritize projects that lower commute times and provide alternative mass transit options to reduce car use. Advocate for reliable net-zero emission forms of transport, such as buses, commuter trains, and electric transport. I will also investigate a potential third crossing that’s environmentally friendly and reduces congestion.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
Competing (yet inter-connected) concerns for environment, ways of life, and affordability. I will advocate for a transition strategy to move toward renewable energy and green technology while growing the economy, and putting more money in the pockets of Canadians so they can get ahead.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
Complete reform of the tax system. Need to streamline and simplify the system, removing obsolete taxes and duplication. The current act (1972) needs to address modern circumstances (e-commerce), expanded global trade, and investment for multinational companies that provide services to Canada but do not pay taxes in Canada.

Candidate’s website: votegabrielleloren.ca
Twitter: @gabriellemloren
Facebook: GabrielleMLoren

 

Dana Taylor
Dana Taylor

GREEN PARTY

Name: Dana Taylor

Age: 69

Residence in riding? 

Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change?
The Greens’ “Mission: Possible” charts an ambitious science-based path for reducing CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2030, essential for Canada to do its part in keeping average global temperature rise below the 1.5 degree “tipping-point.” Plan begins with breaking our dependency on fossil fuels, including a full stop to pipelines.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
Consistent with the Green Party’s national platform, will work to increase National Housing Co-Investment Fund for new builds and Canada Housing Benefit for rent assistance for 125,000 households country-wide, each by a targeted $750 million. Personal priority: expanding and updating mechanisms for financing co-op housing.

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Main focus: expanding and improving mass transit systems and infrastructure, including restoring our rail system to active use. Will also work to improve integration of all transportation modes with province’s ferry system with goal of reducing single-vehicle volume.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
The Bank of Canada has identified global warming as greatest threat to Canada’s economy. Transitioning to a green economy will require fundamental changes in how we live and do business. The Greens are calling on all leaders to put partisan bickering aside and work together in making those changes.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
My personal priority is to put my past experience as an advocate and builder of consensus between industry, government and the public to work in bridging differences and in doing what I can to civilize the tone and improve the functionality of government – to “help save democracy from politics.”

Candidate’s website: DanaTaylor.ca
Twitter: @DanaTaylor4MP
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danataylorgreen/

Patrick Weiler
Patrick Weiler

LIBERAL PARTY

Name: Patrick Weiler

Age: 33

Residence in riding? 
Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change?
The Pan-Canadian Framework provides an excellent foundation to build on to fight climate change, including a national price on carbon, phasing out coal-fired electricity, historic investments in public transit, electric cars and renewable energy. We’ll build on this to exceed our 2030 targets, hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
We now have a $55-billion national housing strategy that I will draw on to create local solutions. Will include purpose-built rental, making federal lands available for supportive housing, finding innovative solutions like co-operative housing. Increase first-time homebuyer incentive to nearly $800,000.

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
Advocate for part of $31 billion in funding the Liberals have put forward to bring in transport solutions in partnership with municipal and provincial governments. Work to connect communities in the riding – up and down Sea-to-Sky and across Howe Sound, focusing on public transportation.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
Transition from fossil fuel-based economy of the present to the clean energy economy of the future. We will cut taxes on clean tech companies by 50 per cent to help us capitalize on the transition with this $2.5-trillion annual economic opportunity, create good jobs, and fight climate change.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
My focus will always be to take effective action to address the priorities of my constituents. These priorities are creating more affordable housing, solving transportation issues, tackling labour shortages in critical areas, protecting sensitive environmental areas and continuing to scale up our response to climate emergency.

Candidate’s website: patrickweiler.ca
Twitter: @PatrickBWeiler
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatrickBWeiler/

Judith Wilson
Judith Wilson

NDP

Name: Judith Wilson

Age: 67

Residence in riding? 
Yes.

How will you and your party address climate change?
We will declare a climate emergency and create 300,000 jobs in energy retrofits, manufacturing of electric vehicles, transit projects, production of solar and wind projects and lead by example in the operation of government. No more oil and gas subsidies. Carbon pricing to continue with emissions targets set in law.

How will you and your party address housing affordability in your riding?
To address the crisis in housing affordability, the NDP will build 500,000 new affordable housing units. As it will take time to get these built, in the meantime tenants paying more than 30 per cent of their gross income on rent will be eligible for a renters grant of up to $5,000.

How would you address transportation issues in your riding?
The NDP wants to make public transit more available and more convenient to assist in efforts to cut our emissions. I will work with each community to tailor improvements that make sense whether rural or urban. The NDP will also put $30 million to help bring down ferry fares.

What is the most pressing issue facing the Canadian economy and how will your party address it?
Foster entrepreneurship and support a Canadian start-up culture, focus on helping Canadian companies in all regions commercialize new technologies and scale up, train, retain the highly skilled Canadian workforce needed to support industry growth and bolster competitiveness on the world stage.

What would be your top personal priority if elected?
My priorities are climate action, pharmacare, dental care and childcare. As MP my focus will be to ensure that our riding receives its fair share of government funding for housing, transit, tourism and economic development while not neglecting our commitment to follow recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Candidate’s website: judith.wilson.ndp.ca
Twitter: @JudithWilsonBC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudithWilsonBC/?ref=py_c

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