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Thursday, October 3, 2019

All Candidates Debate Held in Owen Sound

Owen Sound | by Cody Misner  

The issues included immigration, affordable housing, broadband internet, climate change and of course the carbon tax.

Another all candidates meeting took place in Owen Sound as the election season inches closer to its finale.

This time the candidates met at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre Wednesday evening to discuss various national issues, localized to how they impact the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound area.  

The issues included immigration, affordable housing, broadband internet, climate change and the carbon tax. 

On the issue of immigration, Libertarian candidate Dan Little says, "The libertarian policy on immigration is to quite simply to not have a defined policy on immigration."

Little explains by saying "our policy on all classes of immigration, economic, family or refugee is to open the borders as far as the free markets and individual will allow."

Conservative Alex Ruff states that no one doubts immigration is needed for economic stability, but says the rules for entry into Canada need to be followed.

"I've talked to local farmers who utilize transient workers and they need that help. The issue comes when people are jumping the line," Ruff says.

Bill Townsend of the People's Party says that his party would focus on economic migrants and reduce the number of refugee migrants.

"We want to ensure that the people welcomed into Canada are successful when they get here," Townsend says.

Liberal Michael Den Tandt says immigration is what the country is built on and he wants to see more immigrants come to Grey and Bruce.

"We need more people here to do the the jobs that need doing," Den Tandt says. "There is a labour shortage here and it is a very serious issue for local business."

Chris Stephen of the NDP mostly agreed with Den Tandt, but says newcomers to the country need to be treated with fairness.

"They need to be ensured a path to permanent residence when they are here so it doesn't hang over their heads," Stephen says.  

Green candidate Danielle Valiquette says the Green party would work to have professions carry over into Canada.

"If we bring over a doctor or a nurse the Green Party will work with associations so that they can continue to work under their profession in Canada and Grey and Bruce," Valiquette says.

The other question posed was what each party would to do to make renting more affordable in Grey and Bruce.  

In separate interviews with the candidates afterwards each candidate was asked the question on affordable renting again.

Ruff spoke about keeping a first time home buyers rebate, relaxing restrictions on the mortgage stress test and increasing amortization to 30 years.

Den Tandt says the current Liberal housing benefit that helps renters with high costs doesn't do enough to provide funds to rural areas like Grey and Bruce, something he hopes to see change if elected.  

Valiquette says the Greens have a plan to get rid of GST on rental buildings.

Townsend believes looking at affordable housing in the area begins with first addressing the disparity between wage and real estate costs in Grey and Bruce.  

Little feels the issue can be solved by scrapping government property and rent regulations and allowing the private sector to take over.

Stephen says the NDP are devoted to lowering the living cost overall with a $5,000 tax credit towards renters.  

Bayshore Broadcasting is hosting an all candidates debate on October 16th on AM 560 CFOS at 9 a.m.

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